When you ask most people what their career highlight is, you usually get a very specific answer about that person.
“It was the time I won this prize.”
“It was when I graduated from that.”
“It was the first time I got promoted.”
When you ask Cass, Trainer and Assessor at METS that question, her response is surprising.
“No particular moment,” she says, thoughtfully. “But every time one of my learners get qualified – every time – is a highlight for me, especially if they have learning difficulties or have experienced other challenges in the past.”
“When I see one of my students go onto university or get a leadership or Director role in an early childhood setting, it is such a success story. But really, watching any of them become early childhood professionals fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride.”
If you can’t see it already, just from those first few statements, Cass is the type of teacher you want, when you are training towards a qualification that will drive your career.
She has been training for 14 years, six of which she has spent with METS, and still, after all this time, her genuine dedication to seeing her students achieve something for themselves, and step into such an important industry feeling confident and capable, is inspiring.
Cass makes you want to get out there, get your training and assessors qualification, and set the next generation of learners on their own path to success.
Like many of our METS childcare trainers, Cass started her career in the field, working her way up a director of an early childhood centre. She switched to training when she realised the impact she could have and the difference she could make to the industry she cares about so strongly.
“I’m passionate about having dedicated, professional and knowledgeable educators in the early childhood industry,” she shares. “I chose METS because it has such a strong history of educators who get to know each and every one of their learners. They support those students in the unique ways they need support, all the way through their training and studying journey.”
“This year, we celebrate 30 years of METS, and I still remember wanting to work here all those years ago, purely because of the reputation it has.”
Cass also enjoys the flexibility and diversity that being a trainer offers her – she’s just as busy and challenged as she was when directing centres, but each day brings such a variety of work, new scenery and different personalities, so is never boring!
“In our job, we have three roles; sometimes we’re out and about with students in their centres, other times we’re reviewing and marking their assessments, and like most jobs, we then have admin to do, always with compliance in the forefront of our minds. We have the flexibility and autonomy to choose what each day looks like, for ourselves, but it’s also nice to catch up with other trainers at regular meets.”
METS has a strong network of trainers, many of whom work in the early childhood space. They are allocated students, usually within their close geographic area. They then stick with those students for the duration of their study, getting to know them, helping them navigate obstacles, and of course, providing valuable field and career advice along the way.
“For me, it’s always important I really engage my learners, understand them and build genuine relationships. If they are comfortable with me, they can ask for help and support, and I know they are more likely to succeed in their traineeship.”
“At work, I’m just so inspired when I see my learners overcome challenges and succeed in their studies. Knowing how hard they work, and that I can help them, gets me up and to work every day.”
Cass is also a mum, and outside of work she’s inspired by her kids, who are really into playing sport!
“I love watching them play and how much effort they put in, celebrating their wins with them and helping them work through a loss. They have such passion when they play sport, no matter the outcome, and it reminds me to always approach what I do, with the same passion.”
“I’ve always believed the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. I teach this to my children, I live it in my every day life, and of course, I pass it onto my students.”
“Often, they are working full-time and studying, and that can become tiring. It can be easy to lose enthusiasm or drop the ball, and part of my job is to help them through that – to help them find that passion again, see the valuable outcome they are going to have at the end, and envision their own successful career.”
Finding your calling as a trainer and teacher means dedicating yourself to the supporting the achievements of others – so often a selfless act.
As METS knocks on the door of a new decade – our fourth providing training – we know we are fortunate to have the passion of all our trainers, Cass included, driving us forward.