Name: Edward Ashton
NZTC Qualification: Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
Growing up as the youngest of four children, Edward Ashton always dreamed of having a younger brother or sister. While this never became a reality, he found another opportunity to inspire younger generations in the form of a career in early childhood education.
Edward said he “sort of fell into the job” after a brief stint relieving before going on an overseas trip. “I was heading overseas for my brother’s wedding so I took up relieving six weeks prior to leaving and really enjoyed the time I spent with the tamariki.”
A suggestion by his centre manager spurred him to go on to enrol in a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) at New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC).
Edward has experienced strong support for deciding to pursue a career in early childhood education, not just from his own friends and family, but also from the families of his students.
For Edward the most rewarding moments in his five years teaching have been those where students’ families made him feel he has played a vital role in shaping their child to be who they are today.
“The relationships I have built with children and whanau and watching children grow and develop is what I love most about working in early childhood education,” said Edward.
Edward is among a growing number of men choosing early childhood education as a career.
NZTC has seen substantial growth in male enrolments for early childhood education courses over recent years, as public awareness of the important role male teachers hold in the lives of students continues to grow.
While just seven males were enrolled between 2000 and 2009, this number has increased by over 2000% to 164 in the period between 2010 and 2019. Edward encourages other males to consider a career in early childhood education.
“Children need more male role models in their lives rather than just dads or uncles,” Edward said.
He notes the unique and rewarding nature of the job, which is “challenging for sure, but also fun as anything!”
He says he spends “more time laughing and being goofy with the children” then he’d like to admit, but is in this “organised chaos” where the children are able to grow and build positive relationships in some of the most important years of their lives.
In the future Edward plans to complete his degree, after which he hopes to specialise in special needs education.