'Early Childhood Education is the best thing you can do if you enjoy children...'
Catherine, who is originally from Suva, Fiji Islands, now lives in Christchurch with her husband and two sons. Having done a Certificate in Behaviour and Learning Support before taking up her degree, Catherine says that the prime motivating factor was her two boys, and that her main goals both career-wise and in her personal life are ‘to be a good mum, to be successful in my teaching and to be an excellent role model.’
Catherine is passionate about Early Childhood Education and believes that as a teacher it is extremely important that you are a part of a child’s learning process, not just the facilitator. Children learn from observation and being a good role model is part and parcel of being a good teacher. She chose the University of Canterbury not only because it allowed her to study and raise her family, but also because, through the FLO programme, she was able to complete her degree through distance study.
Catherine believes that the experience she’s had at UC has been an excellent one, and the support she received from the Pacific Development Team, especially from the College of Education, was crucial to her being able to complete her studies.
After graduating, she quickly landed her first teaching job at BestStart pre-school centre in Christchurch, teaching tamariki aged from three-and-a-half to five years, where she has now been working for seven years.
When talking to anyone contemplating a degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Canterbury, Catherine has nothing but positive advice. ‘Doing Early Childhood Education is the best thing you can do if you enjoy children and always have your goals before you. Make sure you ask questions and seek advice from other people.’