Charlotte Taylor teaching a learner at her centre
Name: Charlotte Taylor
NZTC Qualification: Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood education?
I first completed a Bachelor of Communications and have always had a passion for inspiring and teaching children. I thought this would be a fantastic way to combine both of my passions into one. I see the value and importance of investing in children of the next generation and was inspired by the comments I heard through others to study at NZTC.
Why did you choose to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) with NZTC?
I already had a full-time job working in an early childhood centre and NZTC offered the opportunity to study online, which suited my work situation. Although it has been a year of dedication and focus with many hours invested into full-time work and study, it has been an effective way of completing theory whilst working on the job.
What made you decide to take up NZTC’s scholarship opportunity?
This was a blessing in disguise, really. An email about the scholarship opportunities available came through to my centre, and I jumped at the chance. These opportunities don’t come around very often and it was an incentive to commence study earlier than expected.
What impact has the scholarship had on your studies?
It has allowed me to complete further study earlier than expected and has made the process of gaining a diploma in early childhood education a lot more affordable. I am truly grateful for having this opportunity and it has been such a rewarding course to be a part of.
How are you finding online study?
I have found online study very effective whilst working full-time. NZTC provides a very well laid out structure for each assessment and although you don’t necessarily meet all the students in person, there is a collaborative community online, which has been very supportive.
Online study has meant that I have been able to complete my assignments with flexibility. It does mean setting aside time to complete the work required. Online study requires dedication and self-management but I have thoroughly enjoyed this style of learning.
How has NZTC supported you in your studies?
Not only has there been a fantastic online student connection through the student support discussion forums, I can’t help but mention the supportive lecturers at NZTC. They are quick to respond to online questions but it requires the students to step out, make themselves known and engage with the support systems available. The Block Courses have also been a wonderful way to meet the lecturers in person and discuss any questions related to assignments.
What do you enjoy most about being an early childhood teacher?
I love being able to work and learn alongside other teachers who have had years of experience. I truly believe you learn on the job and I have had the opportunity to have many fantastic conversations with curriculum leaders and integrate teaching concepts into my practice.
I love learning with and from the children. They are full of wonderful stories and no day is the same. I also love the ability to be creative and provide children with engaging provocations that inspire them to learn.
You also have a communications degree. How do you combine the learnings from that degree and your Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in your role?
I believe that both the communications and teaching fields work hand in hand. I have been able to take my knowledge of cultural studies, media-related communication and creativity and add value to my day-to-day teaching practice. Having knowledge in a different field has definitely added a rich dimension to my studies.
I find enjoyment in making connections with the whānau and building my knowledge from the teaching community around me. I also find enjoyment in writing engaging learning stories and providing media-related aspects to the classroom. This part really excites the children. Every bit of experience adds value to the profession.
What would your advice be for students who are considering pursuing an ECE qualification with NZTC?
Come with expectancy, open-mindedness and dedication. As we all know, teachers hold a large responsibility in the world of education and we have the opportunity to influence and guide the learning of young minds in a positive way. NZTC provides a supportive training ground, shapes and challenges your thinking and helps you become an effective teacher. You are well supported throughout the program.