It seems like such a simple thing, but Mavis Arhun says that it’s the most important thing she’s learned at Vanier. Unlike some of her previous school experiences, Mavis says that at Vanier she feels free to ask questions and admit she doesn’t understand something without fear of feeling judged by teachers and fellow students. And asking questions is something Mavis will bring into her future career as an early childhood educator as well; it’s become a habit she just can’t shake!
Older Than The Rest
It took a few years after high-school for Mavis to settle on a school and a program. She’s 25 now, and she says that when she fi rst started in the 3-year DEC in Early Childhood Education at Vanier, she was a bit worried about being older than most of her fellow students. But her perspective has changed, and now that she’s about to graduate, Mavis says, “Education doesn’t have an age – we all learn things every single day!” The support that Mavis receives from her peers – of all ages – is one of the things she has appreciated the most about her time here.
The advice Mavis would give to people just starting at Cegep is to be prepared to make some sacrifices. To achieve what you want, Mavis cautions that you have to expect some ups and downs. “You can’t get everything at once,” she says, and her personal experience refl ects this. To stay on track with her studies Mavis had to cut down somewhat on things like sleeping in, volunteering at her church, and spending as much time with her family and her boyfriend as she might like. But Mavis says all these sacrifi ces are worth it because she knows that she will have a positive impact on the lives of the young children she works with.
Mavis says that the students in the Early Childhood Education program are like a big family, and she’s made friends at Vanier that she knows she’ll keep in touch with after graduation. Because the number of students in the program is relatively small, it’s been easy to get to know everyone. As Mavis puts it, “You can find anyone you’re looking for!”
What About The Teachers?
And Mavis looks forward to keeping in touch with the teachers in the ECE program as well. “Their doors are always open,” she says, “and they’ve got the smile that lets you know you are welcome to come in, sit down, and talk for a while.”
A Love For Children
Mavis absolutely adores working with young children! And they can feel her love and caring, so she does tend to “draw a crowd” when she’s around children. Her courses and Fieldwork experiences at Vanier have taught her to recognize and cherish each child’s uniqueness. As a quiet person herself, Mavis knows the importance of having trusted mentors who respect you for who you are; Mavis wants to be that person for the young children in her care.
The Next Step
Once she graduates from the ECE program with her DCS, Mavis wants to work in a child-care centre. In fact, she already has a job! After completing her stage, Mavis was off ered an educator position at the daycare where she did her Fieldwork. She’d like to work there for a while, and then eventually pursue her studies at the University level. And you can bet that she’ll be asking lots and lots of questions along the way!