Name: Lou Guinares
NZTC Qualification: Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood education?
When I finished a degree in physical education and started working with children, I realised that the younger the age group was, the more I enjoyed it. I decided to expand my knowledge in early childhood education, and enrolled to study a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) at NZTC.
What did you do before studying a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) with NZTC?
I completed a Bachelor of Sport (Physical Education) and worked as a personal trainer for a while. I have been an international athlete and coach, representing New Zealand in weightlifting at two Commonwealth Games and many other international competitions. I currently work at a preschool, where I’ve been teaching full-time since 2012.
How did you manage to balance your studies with your career as an athlete?
I postponed my studies until after the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but when I resumed my studies I sacrificed some of my training and coaching times. During that time, I treated training as my stress relief.
Are there practices from your athletic career that you apply in your early childhood education role?
Besides my sporting knowledge, I believe that I can apply patience, persistence and perseverance to help me in my role as a teacher.
What role do you think sport can play in a young child’s life?
Sport teaches children more than fundamental movements. It helps to build their confidence and to tackle tasks; not just in a sporting environment but also in any learning environment, such as literacy, music, dance etc.
What was your experience studying with NZTC?
The experience was great! It really suited my schedule and the NZTC staff were very helpful and supportive.
What do you enjoy most about working in early childhood education?
Teaching young children is the most rewarding job I’ve ever been a part of. It’s amazing to be able to see the impact of my teaching on young children’s learning and development.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Let children explore! Do not limit children just because it makes your job harder. Exploring teaches them a lot more than sitting down and trying to copy the letters of their names.
What is your advice for students who are hesitant to pursue a qualification due to a busy lifestyle?
Do it! It’s worth it. The rewards outweigh the sacrifices, and you will have support from the college when you need it.