Poppins Bush School
July 29, 2021
Mr Matt In The Northern Daily Leader

Check out The Northern Daily Leader's focus piece on Mr Matt.

FROM a Sydney electrician to a Tamworth early childhood educator, Matt Hopson has certainly taken the path less travelled.

The 39-year-old has been part of the Poppins Bush School set up in Moore Creek since it first started in late 2017.

He had previously spent time at Poppins Playhouse in Tamworth after completing his traineeship and gaining a diploma through TAFE.

Affectionately known at Mr Matt by the children, he revealed how he wound up in the classroom and why he chose that career.

"I was in Sydney as an electrician, I was down there for 15 years and then decided I'd had enough of the big smoke and wanted to come home to Tamworth," he said.

"I did a few odds and ends jobs and then decided to look for work I might enjoy and found my way to early childcare and education.

"Children are generally happy so that makes me happy, and if I can make their day a bit better and then help them learn that's something that I get joy out of."

Joining the industry proved to be somewhat of a culture shock for Mr Hopson though.

Coming from an trade which is dominated by men, he found himself in a workplace where males are exceedingly rare.

He admitted there were times where he felt a stigma was associated with his decision.

"You do face that kind of thing, but being the positive person that I am you just brush it aside and get going," he said.

The staff at the bush school have made him feel extremely welcome, however, and been supportive of him the whole way.

Regardless of who is in the role, Mr Hopson said the main thing is kids get the education they need and deserve.

"What we do out here is they learn through play, and they develop their social and emotional skills and whatnot through interacting with each other and staff members," he said.

Source: Northern Daily Leader, Written by Cody Tsausis, Photo credit Gareth Gardner, 29th July 2021 - https://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/7359215/early-learning-matters-week-matt-hopson-talks-stigma-and-smiles/?cs=12

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