Kim Bradley: An educator ahead of her time
Year: 2019 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Ultimate School Agers
Child care centre for children ages 30 months to 12 years
"She is truly there for the children 24/7; she cares so much for everybody else and rarely takes time for herself. … Kim is a very special person and is so much more than a "daycare worker." She is like family and I welcome her into our home and into our lives."
An educator for more than 25 years, Kim Bradley has long been at the leading edge of pedagogy, introducing and perfecting teaching ideas before experts even start thinking about them. Currently, she is working towards a bachelor's degree in incorporating technology into the early years setting.
Philosophy of care
Kim believes children learn best when they explore, are excited and are a partner in their journey. If they ask "why"—and they often call her "Google" when they do so—she does not give them a direct answer but encourages them to work together as a group to find out.
Support of child development
- Emphasizes land-based learning: the centre's vegetable garden features traditional Indigenous produce (corn, squash and beans) and sacred medicinal plants; the children regularly collect and study bugs and play outside on traditional equipment as well as logs, planks and rocks.
- Customizes development plans to accommodate children's individual needs, including ADHD and anger management, for example, taking time to understand each child's situation, build a program and timeline to promote development, and then re-evaluate as the child progresses.
- Introduced Indigenous culture to the centre, travelling to First Nations to gather materials and knowledge: centre features an altar and Indigenous-inspired visual aids; elders conduct ceremonies and involve the children, which leads them to want to learn more, including vocabulary.
Involvement with parents, families and the community
- Shares tablet-based learning observations with parents; regional and ministry inspectors commented positively on this communications approach; also publishes monthly newsletter.
- Spearheads children's participation in numerous community projects: making dessert and centrepieces for a local church's spaghetti dinner; carrying a trash bag on trail walks to clean up; gathering school supplies for a First Nations school in Northern Ontario.
- Instrumental in centre winning the regional "How does learning happen?" competition for demonstrating best practices in early childhood education.
- Mentors colleagues to ensure they can provide the required level of care: one-on-one coaching to integrate new practices, based on educator's strengths, and working on a plan to improve.
Get in touch!
Ultimate School Agers
1685 Bloor Street
Courtice ON L1E 2N1
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