Learn, Laugh and Grow Together – The Teddy-cation Story
By Becky Martin founder of Teddy-cation
My story of how I began my business Teddy-cation probably rings true to many business mums out there. I became a mum in 2012 to my twins Lottie and Jude who changed my priorities in life completely, prior to this I had been very successful in my 17 year teaching career becoming a deputy Head Teacher in my late 20’s in a large junior school. I loved my job but I loved spending my time more with my children and wondered whether I would ever have a happy balance between both worlds. Over a year go, prior to my children starting school, I decided to resign from my job to explore ways of utilising my teaching skills in a flexible working way, that would allow me to do school drop off and pick and be around for key events in my children’s lives. It was a very daunting initially as I had been a teacher since leaving University and knew nothing of the business world.
Being a mum first and a teacher second made it clear to me how important it is to introduce children to new educational experiences in an informal, fun format, creating a foundation block for future learning. In the early years of my twin’s life we attended many enjoyable classes but from the age of 2.5 years the variety of classes lessened unless I followed the music or sports route. From this realisation and a huge leap of faith Teddy-cation was born, a class that wasn’t already out there that offered fun educational opportunities to help prepare children for school life and provide parents with tips and how to best support them.
My educational expertise and allowed me to devise my Teddy-cation curriculum. Teddy-cation is a unique pre-school class in Warwickshire that provides 2.5 - 4 year old Buddies (Budding Brains) an opportunity to take part in a range of practical and rewarding activities in line with the Early Years Foundation stage, preparing them for their first steps towards starting school. Teddy-cation is tailored specifically for the pre-school development phase and develops language and communication skills, listening skills, social and emotional skills, confidence, co-ordination, imagination, creativity and exploration of different subject areas.
The classes follow a set structure with Teddy Neuron (a very friendly cuddly bear who receives so many hugs and kisses) greeting each child, a brain warm up exercise, a mission set by Teddy Neuron and fun practical activities based on specific subject areas. At the end of the class the children self assess, reflecting what they have learnt at the end of the session. Each class teaches parents simple skills and activities in different subject areas that can be used at home with their children. The last session of the term is when Teddy Neuron’s Budding Brains (Buddies) graduate into becoming Super Heroes themselves in the last week.
This last year has flown buy and I have loved every minute of it. My business is growing and I have other exciting developments in the pipeline for the future. I have had both parents and children attending my class now for a year and a number of whom are teacher mummies - which is a real compliment especially as we can be a fussy bunch. I have also felt honoured to be nominated in the new business category in the Neworking Mummies Business Award and also for What’s on 4 Kids awards. You can find out more about Teddy-cation and how to join in on the fun at www.teddy-cation.co.uk and http://www.facebook.com/teddy-cation or contact me on 07720446453.
Classes run Mondays 1.45pm Radford Road Church Leamington Spa
Tuesday 10am Hatton Park
Thursday 10am Warwick Gates Community Centre 10am
Thursday 1.30pm The Kenilworth Centre