Early Learning Leader
I see challenges as positive opportunities for reflection.
Angela Follacchio was raised in a family that made a positive contribution and difference within the school community. Her own school experiences were nothing but positive. She was surrounded by educators that took an interest in her wellbeing, who nurtured her and who encouraged her to achieve her best.
It is Angela’s educators that we must thank, as they are the very reason that Angela pursued a career in education, and therefore the reason we have Angela as our own Early Learning Leader.
“I can clearly recall a number of my teachers by name as they had such an impact on me. Not only on my life as a student but as the person and teacher I am today. They fostered my passion and love for learning and also empowered me to make a contribution to the community,” she says.
For 22 years, Angela has been making a positive impact on the lives of children and to the community. Her experience in Early Learning is diverse. Her knowledge impeccable and ever growing. There’s a saying along the lines of, “if you want to be the best, then you have to learn from the best” – one could almost think that this saying is about Angela.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Education, followed by a Master of Teaching, Angela worked with children from vulnerable families.
“This experience instilled in me the importance of understanding and seeing each child within the context of their family and how it’s fundamental to form relationships with not only the child but also their family,” she says.
She also credits the same role for teaching her valuable lessons about compassion, equity and social justice.
Angela then worked in local government, supporting the inclusion of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children with disabilities into various educational programs.
She holds a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training and through the provision of professional development, she educates teachers in Victoria. She has presented papers at state and national educational conferences and is responsible for writing publications for Environmental Education in Early Childhood, a state organisation that focuses on educating children for sustainability.
In 2007 she joined Camberwell Girls and for the past nine years has been changing the lives of the young students, lucky enough to affectionately call her, ‘Miss Angela’.
As Early Learning Leader, she is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the School’s Early Learning Philosophy is implemented to the highest possible standards. The role also encompasses the responsibility of the coordination of the Early Learning Curriculum and Wellbeing Program.
“I have a holistic approach to education and I ensure the learning opportunities offered encompass the growth of the whole child. There is a firm focus on the skills and values required for living and learning both today and tomorrow.”
“On a daily basis the children are involved in sustainable practices such as reusing, recycling and composting and I value equally, learning and teaching within the classroom and in the outdoor environment,” says Angela.
Positive Education including mindfulness, character strengths and meditation are a daily part of Angela’s classes, as is family participation.
Whilst she does work with the youngest children in our community, which can be challenging, it is these challenges that Angela thrives on. “I see challenges as positive opportunities for reflection, flexibility, innovation and ‘thinking outside the square’ to achieve the best outcomes.”
The rewards of teaching the youngest members of the community far outweigh the challenges and Angela says she feels blessed to be in such a position that makes a positive contribution and difference in the lives of children and their families.
“Creating a community of learners… providing an environment that scaffolds learning. Seeing the growth, progress and achievements and working with children and their families to develop authentic relationships are the reasons why teaching is so important and so rewarding.”
“I am so grateful that I followed my passion and chose teaching as a profession”.
Angela – we are too!