Alicia joined the School in 1992 after a year teaching pre-primary in the UK. In 1996/97 she went back to the UK for a year on a teacher exchange to London. Alicia took time off in 2002 to have her first baby and came back to the School in a job share with Jenny Joseph. Alicia has since had a second baby and is still in the job share with Jenny, currently teaching Year 2.
Throughout her time at Christ Church, Alicia has taught Years 1 and 2 and it’s in these early learning years that her real passion lies. “I just love seeing the boys’ growth and enthusiasm in these early years,” she said.
Alicia and Jenny share the role 50/50, which Alicia said worked well for both of them and seemed to work very well for the boys. “It means we’re both really fresh so the boys get worked pretty hard,” she said. “And it means a lot of communication between the two of us. But it works well because we have worked together for a long time, either in a job share or in neighbouring classrooms, so we know how each other works and we are friends.”
Alicia said Year 2 was a wonderful stage of learning. “They suddenly become more independent within themselves and also with their reading and writing,” she explained. “They really start to grow up and start to realise how the world works and that socially and emotionally they are a part of it. They realise their actions have consequences and that they can make changes.
“They start to use some of their skills for themselves, such as reading and writing for pleasure. They might read a book at home at night, or write in their diaries or write their mum a note. They still need guidance and help but they are a lot more independent, responsible and confident.”
Alicia said Christ Church’s Early Learning Centre was all about developing each boy and giving them strong foundations with literacy and numeracy. “The main aim is to instill a love of learning that remains with them throughout their school years and beyond. It’s also about helping them make good decisions, while also encouraging them to taking risks in a secure environment. It’s important to nurture their confidence and find the little thing that works for each child to make them feel secure and confident.”
Alicia loves her job because of the boys and the team around her. “When the boys walk in first thing in the morning they are always happy and enthusiastic and want to share something that’s happened to them,” she said. “And particularly at Christ Church, it’s also about working with the families. You become a part of not just the boy’s life but the also the family. They build trust that you are educating their son or sons in the right way.
“Watching the boys grow and learn is very satisfying. Developing that relationship with them, earning their trust and making them feel safe and confident is very rewarding.”
Alicia said the ELC team was fantastic to work with. “It’s such a diverse group of people who come together to provide a real balance in the ELC. We meet every week and discuss issues, problems, boys. Everyone is interested in boys they’ve taught in the past and wants to know how they are progressing. It’s a wonderful team.”