'I believe that we can learn so much from children...'
‘It is so rewarding to be a part of children’s growth and to build those positive relationships with children and their whānau,’ Aroha says of her experiences so far in Early Childhood Teaching studies. ‘Each day is new and exciting and to witness and be a part of their curiosity and exploration is truly a gift. I believe that we can learn so much from children.’
With her mother having completed an Early Childhood Teaching degree from UC, Aroha has already had the opportunity to see and be a part of the learning development of young children.
‘It was through visiting the centres she worked in and her passion that I discovered my own passion for children, and was therefore inspired to take on this career path at uni so I could learn the skills and knowledge I needed to assist children in their growth and development in these crucial years of their lives.’
Most of her studies focus on practical applications of teaching skills. Aroha has had placements at local early childhood centres where she can observe and assist the teachers and children in play and learning activities, as well as in lectures both online and on campus.
‘These can often be quite interactive where everyone’s ideas and opinions can be shared and acknowledged. Lectures can also be quite fun and hands on where we get involved and practice activities that can be used in centres.’
Aroha advises other teaching students to use these opportunities as best preparation for real classroom settings.
‘Make the most of the resources you have available to you including lecturers (they really do know what they’re talking about). Enjoy uni, make the most of it and keep a hold of the passion that brought you into teaching in the first place,’ she says. ‘Be open to the knowledge, information and opportunities that are available to you because there is always room to grow.’
With this in mind, she is also considering doing further study after completing her bachelor’s degree, to gain a qualification in primary teaching.
‘Currently I am absolutely loving teaching the younger ones, however, I want to explore and further build on my teaching knowledge and career, as well as leave my future career options open for both age groups.’
She has thoroughly enjoyed her studies so far with the close-knit teaching community at UC.
‘I love the supportive environment and people. I have met some awesome people along the way and always feel as though I can confidently seek help and support from lecturers,’ she says.
‘I can confidently say that I have grown so much throughout my degree as a result of the support from my lecturers and class mates.’