I have been involved in childcare and education since 2000. I believe respectful and loving relationships are the foundation to everything. My philosophy is providing a safe, caring, peaceful, authentic and beautiful environment where children engage in play and learn through their own free will. I was born in Shiraz, Iran. I speak Farsi and English. My Persian name is ‘Elham’, it means inspiration, revelation. I’m married and my husband is Fijian Chinese. We love travelling and spending time with our family and friends. Growing up in the Middle East has taught me the values of family and community and the importance of respectful practice through love, nurture, trust, kindness, empathy, communication and collaboration. Therefore, I highly value working in partnership with parents and families to provide quality care and education. I feel privileged to be part of the lives of the children at Pascals St Johns.
I believe that teachers are the key resource in early childhood centres and I am committed to supporting the ongoing learning and development of our teachers as innovative and thoughtful reflective practitioners whose intentional pedagogy places children at the centre of all their decision making. I believe that our national curriculum Te Whāriki is the best early childhood curriculum in the world. In recognition that “a child is a treasure, to be nurtured, to grow, to flourish,” Te Whāriki is underpinned by the vision that “children are competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.” This applies to every child, regardless of whether genetic and environmental factors require that they will need additional learning support. My own interest in education developed many years ago in response to my decision to leave my legal career so that I could homeschool my daughter whose dyslexia was constraining her academic learning. In a setting that valued her interests as the focus of her learning she thrived. It taught me that curriculum is not something that the child learns, rather the child is the curriculum. This idea resonates with the progressive research based Reggio Emilia (Northern Italian) approach to early childhood education which greatly influences my work. I have been fortunate to visit the early years schools in Reggio and early childhood centres in Australia that have been inspired by their philosophy. I believe that Pascals St Johns is well placed to become a definitive centre of innovation where exceptional outcomes for children’s learning are the norm. As a grandmother of two primary school aged children, I view the nurturing of collaborative, creative citizens of the world as vital in a world of incalculable change.