The number of men working in the Early Years sector is marginally low yet it brings great value to have a balance of both sexes in the pre-school classroom setting. Yuki Hatano, a recent graduate from our Cork Montessori group and Student of the Year, 2014 is making his mark in the sector and loving every moment of it.  

Originating from Japan Yuki already had teaching experience where he taught English as a second language to Japanese student’s age 3 to 18 years. When he moved to Ireland in 2007 he initially pursued a career in financial administration using Japanese but his heart was not in it.  He fet his most meaningful work was working with young children. Watching their development and their increasing abilities was hugely interesting and gave him immense job satisfaction, therefore he began to look into an area where he could work with young children once more. "I came across the Montessori Method and elements of it were similar to the Steiner method of education which I had experienced as I child" say Yuki.  "The more I read about Montessori, the more I liked the sound of it.  From there I researched options for studying in Cork part-time so that I could continue to earn while studying. I found Portobello Institute offer regional classes and the set up perfectly suited my needs."

"When studying with Portobello Institute I found the course very structured and I was able to follow the lessons easily even though English is not my first language. My tutors had a huge amount of experience and knowledge and that helped me a lot. They were always available for extra advice and support which I greatly appreciated. Now that I am working in the sector I can see the relevance of what I learned on the course and I can now put that in to real life practice."

When asked what the best points of working in the Early Years sector Yuki says "I love this sector because working with young children is so meaningful and rewarding. I love my student's innocence, their creativity, their curiosity for the world around them, and how absorbed they can become in simple activities.  A problem with the sector is that I feel we need to work harder to talk up the value of early childhood education.  We also need more men in the sector. Men have so much to offer this sector. I think everyone has talents and interests and where possible they should be given the opportunity to use those talents and to work in areas that truly interest them whether they happen to be a man or a woman. Having empathy, possessing a caring nature, being interested in child development - these are not things that exclusively belong to women.  I can understand that in the beginning it may be strange to see men working in the childcare sector but I think it is good thing.  I believe men have plenty to offer in this area.  If a Montessori teacher has the best of intentions for your child then it should not matter whether they are a man or a woman."

Since graduating  Yuki was fortunate to be offered a part-time position at the school he carried out his work placement with." I am gaining really good experience and ideas for my own classes. My plan long term is to be a full time Montessori teacher and maybe in a few years I might consider setting up a Montessori school - who knows."