Interview with Anisha Angella

Anisha is an RECE leader, author and Early Learning Specialist and Consultant located in the Toronto region. We connected over Instagram and I was instantly drawn to her upbeat, positive energy. One look at her account and you see her passion and love for all things ECE! A: "I've been in the ECE field for 13 years. I was a preschool educator and then held management positions. Then I moved into Senior management overseeing multiple child care centres. I also teach ECE programs at Sheridan College and advise at Humber College. My passion is children. I love education. My other passion is mentoring ECE students and getting them excited to work in the field. Motivating them and providing the tools they need to teach children. I'm an auntie to a nephew- being an auntie is amazing! And I'm an author of a children's book" R: What motivated you to start working with kids? A: "I've always had a passion for teaching. My parents always told me stories- any time there was a group of children you'd see me leading the rest of the pack. Or they'd catch me in the basement lining up teddy bears. I've always had that knack for teaching. And then in a high school placement, I felt a spirit of genuine happiness just being around children and that's when I realized- Okay, I need to go for this." R: Can you share a bit about the why behind the work you do? A: " My why is the understanding that these children will be the leaders of our world. So when you give them the foundation of learning and how to cope with things like trauma it gives them tools to be a part of our society. That's it- in the grand scheme they will be leading our world so let's invest all we can in them. They're our future leaders." R: Can you speak to maintaining work-life balance juggling all of your roles? A: "I'm the definition of a workaholic. I have to be busy. So especially in roles of management I realize the importance of work-life balance. You can't give from empty. You can only give based on everything you have so if you're tired, you're stressed, if you haven't had time with your family, if you're running on an empty tank- there's less of you to give. Some things I've done: - when given the option, getting separate personal and work phones so I'm able to turn it off - put routines in place, especially around bedtime, turning off the laptop and just reading

- discovering out of work passions and making sure I'm dipping into that as much as possible throughout the week" R: Do you have any advice for educators in the field? A: " Remember how important your job is. Your role is so much more important than society acknowledges. We're the under the table heroes. But your job is extremely important.

Try your best to find the little perks and joys that happen in your day. For people who've been in the field a while- watch out for burnout and being stressed out. Reach out to people around you. Take time for you. Like I said before, you can't work when you're on empty. You can't work and give it your all when you're on empty so being mindful." R: Do you have any advice for new educators entering the field? A: " You have that spark- you're fully charged. Sometimes you enter into the work world and you might work with someone who's a little burnt out. Just remember your spark is important and you're needed just as much as those who've been in the field a while. ECE is a lifelong learning process- even if you're in the field for 30 years you're still learning. So the curve of learning is never going to stop. If you have the mindset of being open to learning, you'll be good."

Anisha is the author of a children's book scheduled for release this summer! A: " I've always known I wanted to write a book. Since I've been in the preschool setting I've been the obsessive teacher always changing out my bookshelf. So I've always had a passion for literacy. I decided to take the leap and write my own book! My first book is called Zoey Has an Allergy. It's about myself because I have an allergy and it's to speak on the importance of allergy awareness. The importance of carrying your epi-pen and having your emergency bracelets on. As well as for other children who may not have allergies to create awareness for how they can keep their friends safe." R: Any final thoughts you'd like to share? A: "Just about how important our job is for both the children and families as well. Sometimes we're shaded as being babysitters but putting it out there that we are professionals and advocating for our field is important. Stay firm in what you believe in" Head over to Instagram and find her @booksby_anishaangella to hear updates about her book and her other thoughts about working in the field!

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