Educator in the spotlight: Charlene Gebrael
Published on Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Last updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2021
The Australian early education sector is comprised of a range of people with diverse personal and professional experiences, but with one goal in common, to do their best to provide high quality early education and care experiences for our children.
Every month we shine the spotlight on an outstanding educator to showcase the wonderful work happening within our community. This week meet Charlene Gebrael from Young Academics Early Learning Centre.
What is your full name and where do you work?
My name is Charlene, or as the kiddies like to call me “Charlie” or “Char Char”. I’m as old as I feel, and that feeling is excitement, energy and enthusiasm. I am employed by Young Academics Early Learning Centre as an Area Manager - overseeing hundreds of happy kids and eager educators across our growing number of centres.
What is your professional background and career experience?
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood, my career in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector started. In my earlier years, I started as an educator before climbing the ranks to fulfil senior managerial roles. It’s been 12 years and I have not looked back.
What attracted you to a career in the early childhood sector?
I have always been passionate about working with children and families, especially those from diverse backgrounds. I chose a career in the early childhood sector because I wanted to provide high quality and inclusive education and care for young children.
I also wanted a career in which I could work closely with families and communities and make a valuable contribution to the fundamental years of a child’s learning and development. I stand firmly with the age old saying: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and working in this industry requires collaboration between the family, educators and the community.
In our own little “village”-like setting, I take pride in working with a strong network to raise children to be the best version of themselves.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you?
Each day is different and dynamic… and that’s what I love most! I often visit our centres across different locations on a weekly basis to maintain nurturing, professional and ongoing relationships with educators and families. Most importantly, I assist educators with the necessary training and resources that will support their daily practices.
A “normal” day can range from centre-centre visits, to virtual or in-person workshops for staff, to setting up stalls in busy shopping centres, but it always starts with a strong cup of coffee.
What makes your services and role unique?
I would like to think that heart and passion are at the core of Young Academics’ practices. Having worked with various providers over the years, there is a noticeable difference in values and beliefs, which are most distinctly resonant with my experience at Young Academics.
Being a family-owned business has a lot to show in the way the organisation operates. We believe in upholding centralised values while supporting educators, families and children along their journey, both personally and professionally - and this shines throughout my role. We are family!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would highly recommend and encourage one’s journey in the ECEC industry. The sector is broad and the impact that you can have on those around you, is invaluable. I believe that educators should strive to push beyond the stereotype of being ‘babysitters’ and showcase their abilities and contributions to the fundamental years of a child’s life. This sense of achievement is priceless, and that is what society needs to observe and celebrate.
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