Name: Jolene Stadler
NZTC qualification: Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m 19 years old and was born and raised in South Africa. I moved to New Zealand with my family at the age of 11, which was the best thing that ever happened to me!
Why did you decide to study early childhood education?
My love for early childhood education started at a very young age because I have a little brother much my junior. Since I always found myself teaching him basic life skills throughout the years, there has been nothing else I have ever imagined myself doing besides teaching. And now that I have started working in the field I love it even more than I’d thought!
Why did you decide to study with NZTC?
After my last year of school I decided to jump straight into my early childhood education degree. I studied at another tertiary provider for the first year of my studies, but in mid-2015 I decided I wanted to change to an online learning mode. After plenty of research I realised enrolling with NZTC would be the best move for me, and I have loved it ever since!
How has your experience been with NZTC’s student support?
I have found the support NZTC provides amazing and have had an excellent journey so far with the College. Every phone call and eMail gets answered within a few hours, and I feel comfortable asking for any sort of assistance at any point. The College’s staff are always friendly and full of helpful advice. I couldn’t fault NZTC for anything!
Have you been enjoying your work experience?
I work three days a week at my Home Centre and absolutely love it! Being in the field and studying at the same time is a blessing. It definitely helps me put everything I learn straight into practice.
How have you been promoting biculturalism in your centre, and what encouraged you to make this a focus of your teaching practice?
Māori culture is beautiful and interests me so much - the language, the values, everything! Plus, being from another culture myself, I try to provide children with an environment where their diverse backgrounds are embraced.
I always strive to display Māori artwork and things such as pepeha (introductions) in the room I work in, as well as incorporate customs such as sleeping children head to head or feet to feet and saying karakia (prayers) before meals. I try to learn a new word or phrase in te reo Māori each fortnight, and then I use my new vocabulary as much as I can around the centre. The children pick it up pretty quickly - clever little things they are! I especially love learning and singing Māori songs, and the children love it as well.