Shweta Prabhakar with a learner at her centre
Name: Shweta Prabhakar
NZTC Qualification: Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE)
Why did you decide to pursue a career in early childhood education?
I always wanted to be a teacher and worked in different childhood facilities as a teacher, head teacher and centre manager in India for around seven years. I knew that the first five years are the most crucial in a child’s life and therefore I chose early childhood education. I was a highly qualified teacher in my home country and really passionate about further upgrading my skills to meet international standards.
What made you decide to move to New Zealand to further your studies with NZTC?
When I came to know about the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) available at NZTC, I asked my education consultant if he could arrange a meeting with someone from the college. I was lucky enough to meet an NZTC representative who was visiting India at that time. He answered all my queries patiently. This helped to make the decision an easy one.
How did you find online study?
It was awesome. I was a bright student in my home country, however, I realised that there was repetition in my study pattern. I started sharing ideas and participating in discussions with other students on NZTC Online, which sparked out-of-the-box thinking in me.
What support did you receive from NZTC during your studies?
Initially, I found it difficult to structure my essays. I always used to write too much. My lecturers helped me to improve my essay structuring. They suggested reading the assessment question a few times so I could identify and contemplate relevant points and make my essay more effective.
What are you currently doing and what are your future plans?
I am currently working as an educator at Kids Cove Early Learning Centre in Newmarket, Auckland, and I would love to continue this passion by pursuing another qualification in ECE with NZTC in the future.
What are your teaching philosophies?
I strongly believe in the Reggio Emilia philosophy – a student-centred approach that encourages teachers to view children as competent and capable learners, and learn by discovering their environment.
What has it been like adjusting to life in New Zealand?
It was a bit difficult to adjust to a new life for various reasons. But I believe that every challenge is a blessing, and it took only a few years for me and my family to adjust in New Zealand. We have been able to buy our first dream house in Auckland – our biggest achievement so far.
What advice would you give to others contemplating moving to New Zealand to study with NZTC?
Believe in yourself. I know it’s not easy to leave your well-settled life and start from scratch. However, if you are really passionate about your dreams, you will enjoy each bit of your journey.