Name: Kate Pooley
NZTC Qualification: Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood education?
I have worked primarily with children since leaving school. On arriving in New Zealand from the UK in January 2014, I realised that I needed additional study to work with preschoolers. After settling in the South Island and finding that there was a local need for qualified ECE teachers, I contacted and spoke with someone at New Zealand Tertiary College about upgrading my qualification.
What were you doing before studying with NZTC?
I was relief teaching children aged from new entrants to 13 year olds in my local schools. I found that there were gaps in my knowledge which could be best addressed by further study. After a discussion with the staff at a particular school where I taught more frequently, they agreed that, in their opinion, studying with NZTC was the best option.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced during your studies and how did you overcome them?
I struggled doing a lot of work online, and there was often a mismatch between my understanding of the assessment and what was actually expected. However, I spoke to my Associate Teachers, lecturers and pastoral support at NZTC and received extensive support to be able to complete my assignments. My family also offered a lot of support during my studies, which helped tremendously.
What do you enjoy most about working in early childhood education?
To be able to work together with children and their families with a team of like-minded people. Having the time to be able to watch the children at play and notice and develop their interests; to see them freely explore and learn about their environment. While doing so the tamariki increase their confidence. I am particularly enjoying working in a community preschool.
What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next few years?
I hope to find myself a permanent part-time position in a local community-based preschool and nursery. I have very much enjoyed supporting the children and their families as they gain the confidence they need to be able to reach their full potential in the next phase of their education.
What advice would you give other mature students who are contemplating studying with NZTC?
No question is silly, even if you feel it is. Hang in there – the outcome is worth all the hard work!