A bona fide expert in the field, Sueina Ryan has been involved in Early Childhood Education (ECE) for over 18 years, both in New Zealand and overseas. Specialising in phonics, speaking intervention and early writing development, the experienced educator is a firm believer in the importance of effectual early learning programmes.
Having taught children of all ages from an array of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Sueina joined the ACG Sunderland team in August 2021. In a recent interview, the highly qualified teacher shared her excitement about inspiring children to become lifelong learners and explained her educational philosophy, which combines a personalised teaching approach with building strong family relationships.
What qualities are most important to you in an Early Learning School?
An Early Learning School (ELS) must focus on each child's learning development, growth, and success. However, recognising individual personalities and abilities is also essential, alongside strong respect for children and their families, especially their cultural and social backgrounds.
What was it that initially attracted you to ACG Sunderland ELS?
ACG Sunderland's philosophy of delivering outstanding education underpinned by traditional values and standards certainly appealed to me. In addition, I was attracted to the school's relationship with the Cambridge International Curriculum model.
What excites you about ECE?
I most enjoy watching the development of children and being a part of igniting their potential. It's gratifying to see them partake in the fun and joy of learning through play and personal interactions. I also love working with families, particularly celebrating their cultural diversities and interests.
How important is a child's early learning experience?
It’s very important to provide children with the best possible start to their learning journey. A child's experience in their younger years helps mould and shape the person they will become in later life.
How do you keep learning exciting for young children?
Learning needs to be fun, so the activities we provide must cater for each child's unique interests and differing abilities. It's also crucial to provide plenty of encouragement and praise, as positive reinforcement is vital to sustaining children's engagement.
What makes a great ELS?
A great ELS is a centre where the children's needs are prioritised because they are at the heart of all that we do. It needs to be a space where children and families feel welcome and at home and where the teachers enjoy their work and take their responsibilities seriously. A sustainable environment is also an important physical aspect of any viable centre.
What is the most rewarding aspect of the role for you?
I feel rewarded when I see a child's confidence grow and develop. I enjoy seeing children respond to the fun and adventure that forms their learning experience and I also feel rewarded by the appreciation shown through the parents and whanau.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
As a Samoan woman, I love my own cultural dimensions, such as music, dancing and the arts. And as a mother, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like travelling, experiencing new places, and meeting new people. Plus, I have a particular love of food.
What would your friends or family say to describe you in five words or less?
Reliable, dedicated and fun.