Testimonial from Marion Prince

12 August 2014

Hi Kathy,

We've just had our NQS assessment and received exceeding overall (- yeah!!!).

Peita C.

18 March 2013

Hi everyone at Walker Learning Approach, I just wanted to share a quick story with you. I am a teacher and this year my daughter started prep. The other night she was eating dinner and had my fork and hers in her hand (different sizes) and exclaimed, "Mummy! This is one of my learning intentions! Long and short!" It blew me away that a 5 year old could be so clear in her learning! She talks about her learning intentions all the time as well as who the focus students will be each day. I am so proud of her, her amazing teacher and WLA for promoting this. Thank you. Peita

Pauline W.

18 March 2013

I couldn't agree more with the views of our school, as reinforced by experts like Kathy Walker, that to succeed in life our generation of children is going to need more than literacy and numeracy skills, they are going to need a whole range of social, emotional and life skills too. In this increasingly complex and rapidly changing world it is no longer enough for them just to learn facts and content in school, they need to learn how to research that content themselves, how to make decisions for themselves, how to be self-motivated and initiate ideas, and how to work collaboratively and communicate effectively with each other. Over the last couple of years it has been really exciting watching my son Callum, who is now in Grade 2, learning all these skills through the Walker Learning Approach. I have loved watching him learn to take responsibility for his own work, self initiating little projects that revolve around whatever he is interested in and using his creative thinking, problem solving skills and research skills to bring them to life whether it be making a little collage on Africa or making a book on Ancient Egypt. I have loved watching him learning how to work collaboratively with others as he has run cafes, worked on plays and put on fashion shows with his classmates. And it has been great watching his self-confidence and oral language skills grow as he has learnt to talk about his investigations in front of his class and even present them to other classes. My daughter Lila who has only just started in Prep is already gaining great independence and self-confidence through finding her own activities to work on and learning to talk about them in front of the class, which is really exciting to watch. It is still early days for the Walker Learning Approach at our school and we still have work to do to get it working smoothly across the whole school, but I for one am very glad we have embarked on this journey. Pauline

Harry B

1 March 2013

Just a little feed back from the Emotional Intelligence talk I attended yesterday. I found the talk most helpful and interesting and couldn't wait to get home to put into practise some of the many helpful tips. My morning routine started and I focused on keeping calm and became mindful of some of the re-phasing of requests. To my surprise my 7 year old commented on our unusually delightful walk to school " Mummy, something is different this morning. We haven't shouted and it feels really nice!" My confidence grew and I beamed from ear to ear. I'm so glad I attended the talk. Today is just the beginning. Its never too late to ... stop ... and refocus. I might add that my 5 and 7 year old kids had no idea I had attended this talk. Thanks again for putting me back on the road to becoming a better parent! Regards Harry

Liz H

6 October 2012

Hi Kathy, I just wanted to thank you for writing "Ready, Set, Go?". I was struggling with the school decision for our 4 year old January born twins but when I read your book I knew my gut feeling was right and they would benefit from another year of preschool, before starting school at age 6. They were 7 weeks prem and really struggled in their first year which meant they've been playing catch up since. I found your book sensible and thoughtful and it helped me understand what school in NSW is really like today. I can't begin to describe the sense of relief I felt after reading it. Thank you for putting it out there. Many thanks, Liz H

Janine B

16 September 2011

Dear Kathy, I recently heard you speak about parenting at your old kinder, Box Hill South Preschool, and have had the good fortune to have heard you speak on various topics before. In fact, you also taught me for a semester at Swinburne Uni early childhood dept (in a universe far far away!) I commented that you are such a guru to me in both parenting and professional capacities. I am always recommending your books/website/workshops to others, and tell them that I have two copies of your book - one at home on the bedside table and one on my desk at work. I often refer to your book after a difficult morning at home - once I get into the office after the 'school drop off' I have time to reflect back on what may have gone wrong that morning by leafing through your book - an absolute godsend! Kindest Regards, Janine B

Colleen J

15 May 2011

Hi, I have just subscribed to the Early Life newsletter after hearing from another kinder teacher about the above. FINALLY... some sense being addressed about the ridiculous amount of documentation kinder teachers feel they need to do. I have been very concerned about this, as I cannot see how it doesn't take away from the quality of time actually spent with the children. Speaking with peers, there seems to be a huge decrease in the enjoyment of the daily teaching of children. How sad! Thank you, Colleen J

Michelle P

7 May 2011

I just had to write as soon as I finished reading the newsletter and in particular, Kathy's comments on "Documentation Gone Mad". I could not agree more, I have been very anxious for some time now that all this pressure to document every move and word that was uttered during a session was actually removing staff from the face to face "real" interactions that are the backbone of our relationships with them and the only way to build this relationship that leads to trust, warmth, understanding and growth (for children and adults). Having just met with 2 dear friends (both early childhood teachers of over 30 years standing such as myself) who are both stressed to the max over the move toward more and more documentation and how this is affecting the day to day valuable interactions with children, I couldn't agree more with Kathy’s comments. Sadly though, the pressure for this type of measure of our program is coming down from CSA's and causing teachers no end of stress and is sadly also causing wonderful teachers to doubt the programs they are delivering. Please, we must speak out more and more about this before we lose even more wonderful experienced teachers! Michelle P

Julie H

7 May 2011

Just read your newsletter - what a fantastic read, so interesting! I particularly wanted to comment on your article about documentation! It is absolutely CRAZY what’s expected of teachers these days. I came up with the idea of The Daily Diary, to provide a 'simple, 'safe', 'quick' tool for teachers to engage parents in the learning of their children through sharing photographs and text. When I present to teachers, the comments I get are, This is great, but..."We need it to create learning stories?" "Is it a individual portfolio as well?" "Can we link to the ELYF?" "Can we store documentation to use later?" "Can we use it to create transition statements?" "Does it have a blog?" It's ridiculous what’s expected! I have no idea how teachers can possibly focus on teaching whilst trying to full-fill all these. Julie H

Kerry M

6 May 2011

Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your article "Documentation in Early Childhood Programs Gone Mad!" I have truly become disillusioned by the amount of documentation that I am supposed to produce to show that my assistant and I provide a quality program. I have for along time felt the world had gone mad over documentation as every week someone was out there pushing their own notoriety regarding how best to produce accountable links to quality. I have become so disillusioned I am personally considering moving from early childhood to primary school teaching even though my first love is preschool. I am concerned where we are going and wonder when is it going to stop; when are the children going to return as our number one focus and priority, not our ability to produce reams of pretty paperwork to impress bureaucrats! Kerry M