Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) graduate Rachana Douglas answers questions about her time as a student at New Zealand Tertiary College.

Please tell us a little about yourself. What made you decide to pursue early childhood teaching?
I am a secondary maths teacher from India. In India, I taught for around 13 years in one school. After that I thought of studying more and when I read about the concept of early childhood, it fascinated me and I decided to do this course.

Why did you choose to study your qualification as an international student of New Zealand Tertiary College?
When I was going through the different prospectuses, I noticed that NZTC was one of the oldest Colleges with nearly 30 years behind it.

How did you find the support while you were studying?

All the lecturers were always there to help me. They were easily accessible to me through phone, emails and on discussion forums to help. All my field practice lecturers were always very supportive and they encouraged and praised my work.

What is something that you have learnt from your studies that you find yourself applying on a regular basis?

I have learnt that every child is special and we should devote equal attention to them. Every child possesses different qualities and they should not be compared with others; rather they should be respected as individuals.

In what ways does your cultural heritage influence your teaching philosophy?

In my culture there is great emphasis on teaching moral values to children. My teaching philosophy also revolves around this thought. I always taught my children the subject as well as good manners and values.

What do you love most about the job?
Teaching is my passion and I feel that teachers are nation builders. I work in this spirit. I enjoy teaching children. It gives me sense of satisfaction.

Do you have any special areas of interest?
My special area of interest is behaviour management. I love working with a toughest child of the centre to try and change his habits. Within one week of my presence in the room, I heard my head teacher praising me because I was able to develop a good bond with one of children with difficult behaviours.

Have you set yourself any professional goals for the future?
First of all I would like to be a head teacher as soon as possible, then supervisor and then the centre manager. For that I will keep on studying. I am going to start studying about the policies, regulations and each and every minute detail of this field. I want to inspire other student teachers but I don’t know from where to start. If the College can guide me then I will be really thankful.

What advice would you give to a prospective early childhood student?

Work hard, manage time properly, give your 200% and always love children and your work. This profession needs lot of dedication and sincerity.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences as a student of NZTC?
I have learnt a lot here. I really liked it when I would see lecturers sitting in on their colleagues’ lectures - I was impressed with this kind of attitude. I owe a lot to this College.

For more about studying early childhood education at NZTC, please call us on (09) 520 4000 or email international@nztertiarycollege.ac.nz