#MacEwanUgrad: Mary Dyky
What is your best memory of MacEwan University?
My favourite memories involve discussing and sharing ideas with fellow Early Learning and Child Care students during classes. In particular, during group work or in preparation for workshops, we were given the time to create, to research, to collaborate, to discuss, and ultimately to plan out meaningful experiences. There was great value in the learning taking place, as it was engaging, insightful and fun. The different viewpoints of peers allowed me to become a more reflective practitioner who enjoyed the relationships being built in the classroom community.
What’s next now that you have graduated?
After graduation I will pursue employment within a school setting or Parent Link Centre. I have always felt the importance in partnering with other agencies in advocating for children and their families within the community.
MacEwan University has prepared me by allowing me to recognize the need to honour the whole child with grace and dignity. With an in-depth knowledge and understanding of child development, I am able to provide a supportive environment where a child feels safe, capable, engaged, challenged and confident. MacEwan University has taught me that I myself am not done learning and that I will be continually evolving through the experiences and relationships I have with others
What advice do you have for a 1st year student?
Be intentional – Have purpose and intent in planning but also be flexible and open to follow the lead of the child and allow experiences to be authentic.
Be present and engaged – Be in the moment. Observe, communicate and provide opportunities that focus on a child’s capabilities and interests.
Be an advocate – It is important to build strong relationships with children, families, team members and the community. In creating this network of people we not only can become genuinely invested in the well being of the child but also support and guide the challenges that a child may experience.
Provide time – Learning comes from critical thinking, problem solving, interest, motivation, risk taking and time. Allow children the environment, materials and most importantly the time to play and discover the world around them.
See the potential, the capacity, the opportunity in learning each and every day. Embrace the possibilities.