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First Hand Experience - The Transition from Full Time to Relieving

Kia Ora

I just wanted to share with you a reflection on how relief work has been going so far for me.

Relieving is the best thing for me at the moment because I don't have all the 'buy-in' that comes with a permanent teaching position. I am in and out, just enjoying spending time with the children. (Which is why I got into ECE in the first place).

I have to say that the first month of working in 3 different Centres was a tough adjustment. This was something I underestimated. I underestimated the fact that being 'the new person' in a Centre can be hard work, because you have to start from scratch: building new relationships with children, staff and whanau. Not knowing where things are, having to ask a lot of questions, adjusting to different routines and teacher's differing teaching styles. It was quite tiring!

In the last couple of days I feel have I 'come right'. I feel like I have turned a corner. I feel a lot more confident, positive and energetic at work. Because I know what to anticipate now, I know the staff and children better, I know where things are now and started to gain a sense of well-being and belonging in these Centres.

I love working for Toi Toi. You guys have been amazing at getting me work where I wanted it and when I wanted it. Relieving is exactly what I need at this point and time in my life.

I wanted to share with you my reflection of my first month of relieving in new Centres so you can share this with the new teachers who are just starting out on their reliving journey. I think it's important to know that when you first start out that it's not all roses and sunshine. It is important to pace yourself, to look after yourself and to allow yourself time to get to know everything and everyone. Its a process and it can take time. However it pays to hang in there, because the reward is that once you have become familiar with everything, you get to walk into these centre's with confidence, joy and anticipation of what the day brings. Knowing that you can go home at the end of your shift with no strings attached, but with the knowledge that you are valued and appreciated every time you come back again.

I also love that you provide my introduction profile with my picture on it to the Centres and they put it up for the parents to see, introducing me as the reliever for the day. When the parents see me, they know who I am, and I don't have to introduce myself over and over again as children are being dropped off in the morning. I also feel proud to wear my new uniform T-shirts too. They give me a sense of identity.

Kind Regards,

Elke Reichert

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