Kindergarten teacher tells of satisfaction

RARE SPECIMEN: Otatara Kindergarten head teacher Bevan Simpson says working in early childhood education is a rewarding career. 
RARE SPECIMEN: Otatara Kindergarten head teacher Bevan Simpson says working in early childhood education is a rewarding career. 

Otatara Kindergarten head teacher Bevan Simpson, one of the few males working in early childhood education in Southland, admits kindergarten was not his first career choice.

Mr Simpson made the decision to begin early childhood education training in his mid-thirties, while staring down the barrel of redundancy.

He had been considering getting involved in kindergarten for a while, but choosing to undertake full-time study with a growing family to feed was not easy, he said.

The training, which equates to a three year break from regular income, is one reason he believes men might be put off from taking up the career.

Another reason could be the bad press, he said.

Mr Simpson started out in the industry in 1999, when fallout from the Peter Ellis case was still fresh, and he initially expected a lot more negativity from parents.

"I wouldn't say working in the industry as a male is easy and you probably need to draw around yourself some good support systems.

"[But] most of the comments I've had are positive comments, like: ‘Isn't it good to see a man as a role model in a young child's life'?"

Overall, early childhood education was a rewarding career, and there was satisfaction in watching children grow up well.

"You think, well, I've been a part of that."

The Southland Times