Sora New teaches the Early Childhood Education program at Herzing College Montreal.
This is an excellent time to become an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) in Montreal. There is strong demand for ECEs at daycares and preschools throughout the city and across the province of Quebec.
This career is ideal for someone who loves working with young children, and is naturally interested in early childhood development. ECEs have a huge influence on a child's life. They help shape essential cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills.
A talented early childhood educator helps their students meet important developmental milestones and prepare for the challenges of school and life.
They act as role models and have the power to instill a lifelong love of learning. This is an incredibly important and rewarding profession!
That is, if you're truly a good fit for the career.
Are you considering Early Childhood Education training, but need help deciding whether this path is right for you? Your best plan is to get advice from someone who has worked in the field.
Meet Sora New. She's been an early childhood educator for 15 years, and now teaches other ECEs in Herzing's Early Childhood Education program.
She is your perfect guide to training, careers, and what it takes to be successful as an ECE.
In this interview, Sora explains what to expect in Herzing's ECE program, where you can work after college, and how to know if this profession is right for you.
Read on for some expert advice and an inside look at the program.
Q: Sora, can you share a little about your background in Early Childhood Education?
Sora: I majored in Child Studies at Concordia University. I worked as an educator at various daycares including Montessori, HighScope, Reggio Emilia, and places where "learning through play" approaches are practiced.
Also, I have certificates from both Montessori and HighScope. I’m a naturally curious person. During my 15 years of experience, I would take every opportunity to work at daycares where different philosophies of education were applied. This allowed me to build skills in many different methodologies.
The first seven years of life is the most critical period for human beings to grow and be molded by their environment. When we plant a tiny positive seed in a child's heart, that seed will grow and help nurture the child's full potential.
That’s what inspires me to work in the field of early childhood education.
Q: How long have you been teaching the Early Childhood Education program at Herzing?
Sora: I’ve been teaching the ECE program at Herzing (Montreal Campus) for 6 years, since the program started back in 2014. After working as an educator for 15 years, I needed another challenge.
I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences with future educators. The timing was perfect to start that journey with Herzing College.
Q: What makes Herzing’s ECE program unique? How does it stand out from other ECE programs in Montreal?
Sora: First of all, we have full support from the college. Our classrooms are designed and equipped with materials and toys similar to daycares, so that students can get real hands-on training.
Plus, on the top of the curriculum (which is based on government requirements), we prepare students even further by providing them with children's songs, props they can use, and role-play for common situations at daycares.
We provide an energetic and dynamic class for our ECE students. All of our ECE instructors have daycare experience and we know exactly what it takes to be a good educator. Our students are fully prepared for a real daycare or preschool classroom.
Q: What tends to be the most challenging part of the program for students?
Sora: Students sometimes feel unsure when they're creating activities for children. Even after learning Child Development, they lack confidence developing activities that are both educational and age-appropriate.
It's a challenging task, because every time they create an activity, they need to consider the five spheres of child development: Physical, Language, Social, Emotional, Cognitive (+ Self-Help).
This skill takes practice. In time, our students definitely get better and have more confidence.
Q: Which parts of ECE training do students usually enjoy the most?
Sora: They love the role-playing and hands-on practice with props and materials. I include these for almost every course in the program.
There are certain courses that require more hands-on experience, such as Educational Activities, Guidance Intervention, or Adaptation and Behavioral Problems.
We always relate the theories to actual situations educators face at daycares.
Q: Can you tell us about how the internship works?
Sora: We have 2 internships. Students actually go to a daycare and carry out all the tasks and duties under a qualified educator.
They’re supervised by this educator, and a representative from Herzing College, to maximize their learning. Our interns help with everything from basic child needs and safety, to planning activities and leading the daycare routines and schedules.
Q: What kinds of projects do your students work on in class?
Sora: The projects we do always connect early childhood education theory to the realities of an actual daycare.
For example, when we're studying Educational Activities for Infants and Toddlers (0-2 years old), the students do a project called ‘Creating Sign Language’ for infants or toddlers.
They must develop a way for children to express their needs and wants through sign language, because at this age, language skills are not yet fully developed.
Sign language decreases stress and frustration and is a very effective communication tool for this age group.
Q: What are the most important skills students learn in the ECE program?
Sora: The most important skills we teach students are effective communication, observation, and positive guidance for each age group. These are the skills you need to be successful in this career.
Q: Where do ECE graduates usually get hired?
Sora: Most of our Early Childhood Education graduates work at preschools and daycares. Some choose to work as educators (assisting a licensed teacher) at an elementary school.
Q: Do some graduates open their own daycares?
Sora: Every session, I have one or two students whose goal is to open a daycare after studying. Some do start their own daycare business after finishing the ECE program.
Q: What are some other job options for Early Childhood Educators?
Sora: When students graduate from the ECE program, I recommend they work at a daycare center for at least a couple of years. Afterward, they can broaden their options for other careers in the education field.
For example, they can become a preschool administrator or director, work at a city school board, or get involved with social programs for parents and children.
And as I say to my students, why not consider becoming a children’s book author or children’s toy designer? There are so many career paths in the field of early childhood education.
Q: How does someone know they’d be a good fit for the ECE program? Any advice for new students?
Sora: I’ve had many students over the years, and have learned from my own experience, that being patient, open-minded, willing to learn new things, and challenge yourself are core qualities for ECEs.
You need these characteristics if you want to excel in the education field. Remember, no day is the same with young children. You need to grow with them, too!
Thank-you, Sora, for sharing such great advice and giving us an inside look at the Early Childhood Education program. We're very lucky to have you on the faculty at Herzing College Montreal!
Want to learn more about Early Childhood Education training?
Herzing College offers a 14-month Early Childhood Education diploma program. The program includes 2 internships for a total of 8 weeks real work experience at a daycare.
If you want to learn more, your next step is to speak with Admissions. An Admissions Advisor can explain courses, application requirements, careers, tuition costs, and financial aid options. They can also help with international student applications.
Click below to get started! Explore the ECE program and chat live with an Advisor right now. We're here to help!