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Student story

Lauren Rowlands

20 July 2023

Ngāi Tahu

"You get out of study what you put in..."


(Ngāi Tahu)

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)

Early Childhood Teacher, Amberley Community Preschool and Prep School

Lauren's work in the small town of Amberley gives her a fulfilling and vital role in the education of young children at their early stages.

"My role involves being heavily involved with whānau and the community, fundraising, volunteering, and celebrating everything our community has to offer. I have a great team around me who are supportive and encouraging of my growing knowledge and skills," she says.

Following over ten years in hospitality, Lauren decided on her rewarding career change with support from friends, whānau, and UC.

"I was always naturally gifted at creating relationships with tamariki. I know UC is a good education provider and leads in the field of teacher education. I have had many friends and colleagues whom have studied with UC."

Her own Early Childhood Teaching degree gave Lauren theoretical and practical experience in supporting children's learning, while coordinating with their family and other teachers. She was also given a Kā Pūtea Grant through Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to help fund her degree studies.

"I loved the noho marae and the professional placements, and the lecturers are friendly, helpful, and supportive," she says.

"Many of the courses were enjoyable and provided rich learnings. Child Development in first year was incredible, I learned so much from that course. Learning te reo Māori was also extremely enjoyable."

Alongside her studies and part-time teaching role, Lauren was also a nanny for a ten year old with autism and a five year old, which has inspired her career goals to work with younger children with disabilities.

Support from a Tuakana Māori student mentor, and services on campus such as the Rec Centre and the UCSA Dental Clinic, have been a big help in Lauren's education and well-being with her busy lifestyle.

"I had been out of school for over ten years when I begun studying so it was a big transition, but one I had thought long and hard about, so I was eager to succeed," she says.

"My study involved organisation, motivation, and planning as I was full-time at UC, maintaining two jobs, and building my first home. I was passionate about my choices and I was determined to excel and enjoy my studies whilst achieving as much as I could in my personal life."

Accomplishing her goals with hard work, Lauren recommends other students to give it their all to make the most of their degree.

"You get out of study what you put in. The more you learn and engage, the better position you are in to think critically, grow, and excel."

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