Taking childcare training to the next level

Alana Theuma has a ready smile, and reckons the key to her teaching is her sense of humour.

"I guess I perform!" she said recently, during a break from teaching the Certificate III and Diploma in Children's Services qualifications.

"I'm a bit of a performer. I bounce round the room and I throw out ideas. I like to give positive feedback, and strategies to improve, and that motivates students. I use positive language. I'm a positive role model."

Alana has been a trainer and assessor with Organisational Learning Australia since June 2014, and has found the place she wants to stay.

"With workplace training it sometimes felt more quantitative than qualitative", she said.

"Some places just churn out material without a focus on really helping students understand."

"Here at Organisational Learning Australia it's about quality. I love the classroom-based work, as well as giving services to the best of my abilities to the students. I love watching their eyes light up."

Helping students' eyes light up is a rare quality found in the best teachers, and Alana's enthusiasm for the work no doubt plays a big part in that.

She spent nearly 10 years working in the childcare industy, when she decided to take her calling further and studied Certificate III Diploma in Children's Services and the Advanced Diploma in Children's Services along with her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

"I wanted to take it to the next level," she said.

She worked as a Trainer and Assessor for around two years before moving over to OLA.

"I'm very passionate about teaching, so I thought why not train?"

"I love talking about my own knowledge and especially childcare," she said.

"I train people who go on to work in childcare services and family daycare. I love standing up there and giving out knowledge, seeing them learn and watching their journey. It's amazing to be that support for them."

The Certificate III is six months of study, and the Diploma is 12 months, although both are part time.

In between being face to face with students, Alana says she excels at her admin work.

"I even love the paperwork too! I've got a knack for it," she said.

While that work may seem dry, it's an integral part of her role at OLA: marking, processing information electronically and, of course, working on lesson plans. Under a strict regulatory environment, Alana is part of the team ensuring that all teaching is compliant.

She's full time at OLA's beautiful Abbotsford office complex, in the old Abbotsford Convent. Full of artists' studios, complementary health practices and great cafes, it's an ideal place for a childcare business to focus its energies and consistently achieve the best training standards and trainers for its students.

"We make it as practical as we can," Alana said.

"It's important for learners who have English as a second language that we cater to different learning styles.

"I also use examples from my own experiences. Sharing your own experiences can even bring dry topics to life.

"And I find my job fun! It comes easily, it's just who I am. You know you're in the right place when it comes naturally and you have fun."