Annabel's Story

My earliest memories of my childhood include looking after my baby dolls, playing with the younger children at after school care and endless role-plays of school where I played the teacher. So I could easily say that I have had a passion for children and teaching from an early age.

When I went to school I had a few challenges especially when it came to learning to read, which was when my parents decided to get help outside of the school environment. At age 6 it was discovered that I had a learning disorder called Auditory Processing Disorder.

It affected many areas of my learning but I found that through working with some fantastic teachers and professionals I could finish high school and then study at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle for a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree. 

The incredible teachers I experienced in my early childhood taught me to be resilient and confident. The best teachers were nurturing and warm. They didn’t treat me as if I had a problem that needed to be solved or fixed. They just accepted me for who I was..

My first few years of teaching were challenging, exhausting, scary, emotionally draining but extremely eye opening, exciting, reflective and rewarding. I worked with many children who displayed behavourial problems and I often dealt with them in the way I thought I was supposed to from what I had been taught at university.

When I was in my first year of teaching Kindy, I had a few children who displayed behavioural problems and I tried numerous behaviour management methods that I learnt at university.

These methods were useless or if they worked at all it was only a quick fix that didn’t last. I truly loved these children and I wanted to know how I could help them.  I decided to research and learn more about development and went on to learn about the attachment theory and infant and early childhood mental health.

The information I learnt from that research changed my whole philosophy of behavioural problems, behaviour management and also made me look at my own early childhood development.

When learning about early childhood mental health, some memories of when I was a toddler came back as well as some emotions of overwhelming anxiety. I remember being extremely anxious and terrified about sitting on the back seat of my dad’s bicycle and also having separation anxiety from my mum.

Looking back on these early experiences now from a different viewpoint gave me a real connection and a greater understanding of children and especially young children who struggle with their social emotional skills. This birthed a great desire in me about how I want to be there for children who struggle with their social emotional skills.

I continued to research  and most recently after many years of wanting to learn more and complete the training I became a Registered Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator. 

I believe that by supporting, promoting and educating children, their families and anyone that works with young children we can ensure that our community thrives.

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Thriving Minds Education

Thriving Minds Education aims to support, promote and nurture infant and early childhood mental health, wellbeing and development through a holistic approach. Thriving Minds Education believes that it takes a community to raise a child and that more people need to be aware of how they can have a positive impact on mental health, wellbeing and development in the period of early childhood. Through supporting children’s most important early relationships with parents, family, caregivers, educators and teachers we can all work together as a community and provide our children with skills to thrive for the rest of their lives. 

“my son loves the activities and I learn more every class about his development and what I can do to support his development at home.”

— Mary Wolfla