Fran says farewell to ECEC after 45 years of service to the sector
Early childhood educator and TAFE teacher Fran Peters has announced her retirement after 45 years of dedicated service to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector.
Ms Peters began her career in 1976 at Balnarring Preschool, where she worked to establish the service from day one, staying for five years before taking on a new role at Frankston College of TAFE (now known as Chisholm Institute), developing the early childhood course and writing the curriculum.
She remained there until 1984, when she returned to working directly with children, taking on the position of Director at Frankston Preschool, then moving to a new leadership role at Corinella’s JLM Preschool.
Since the year 2000, Ms Peters has been back in the TAFE system, continuing to educate future ECEC professionals, bringing “life, colour and humour” to her classes at Chisholm Institute’s Frankston, Berwick, Dandenong and Wonthaggi campuses.
Regardless of whether she is working with children or young adults, Ms Peters has always taken a holistic approach to meeting learner needs, and creating environments which feel warm and inviting.
“I didn’t find the difference between four-year-olds and 19-year-olds difficult at all,” she told local news source Sentinel Times.
An accomplished musician, Ms Peters plays piano accordion, guitar and piano, and says that music has been an important feature of her classes, helping her to connect especially with children who have additional needs.
“Music is a common language,” she explained, sharing that her ECEC students have learned specific dances and songs to use in their professional journey.
When asked about her decision to retire after such a long time in the sector, Ms Peters said the choice was largely prompted by the move to online teaching, brought about due to COVID-19. Being unable to connect with her students face to face has been a challenge, and she felt the time was right to follow some of her own interests.
Her plans for retirement include learning to play the ukulele and spending time in her garden.
“I want to do some more craft work and I love going to brekky with (husband) Les,” she added.
On learning of her departure, Ms Peter’s colleagues at Chisholm Institute paid ‘glowing tribute’ to her and the contribution she made during her employment, noting her creative flair, humour, support of other staff and passion for helping students achieve positive learning outcomes.
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