My wish to help plan and create a kindergarten came true in 2008. Back then Anton Paar established a kindergarten for two groups in its new building at the company headquarters in Graz. At first there was a nursery group and a kindergarten group for a total of 39 children aged 1 to 6. The next challenge was establishing – finding – forming a team; and to work well together. Because we work closely together mutual understanding is extremely important.
For me, teamwork is when everyone wants to make the kindergarten a success, there is no competitiveness between individuals, and the team feels like a big family. That is the key to a successful kindergarten. In this context “successful” means for me having a place where children, parents, and the team as well as the owners of the kindergarten feel comfortable, where needs are recognized and met accordingly.
Useful characteristics for a kindergarten teacher are humor, a firm and consistent approach, respect for all other people, empathy, and openness for new things and unexpected turns of events.
In my profession I can never predict exactly how the day will progress. Working with children is always a challenge: Are they relaxed and receptive today or are they tense and distracted by other things? Sometimes I have planned specific activities but when the time comes the children are interested in something completely different. Then I have to quickly change my plans. I love this need for spontaneity. And: Children are straightforward – they tell you immediately what they like and what they don’t like. Of course, this sometimes costs a lot of nerves but it also gives me new energy.