'Canterbury was the most supportive of my wish to do this degree...'
Mikaela has always held a love for teaching, and hopes to be a part of the early development and learning of young children.
‘I am passionate about early childhood and wanted the foundation of a degree to strengthen my teaching abilities,’ she says. ‘I want to be working in the Ministry of Education with a focus on special and inclusive education in early childhood.’
Growing up in Whangarei and originally from London, Mikaela looked for a university that could support her disability and give her the best path towards her career goals.
‘I applied to Canterbury on a whim as I was not overly confident on moving to the South Island. When I got responses back from universities, Canterbury was the most supportive of my wish to do this degree while having physical limitations. Therefore the move was easy as I was coming somewhere that I knew I was wanted and appreciated.’
Disability Resource Services have been fundamental for her studies, and were a big incentive for choosing UC after meeting with them before enrolling.
‘They make sure my lecturers are aware of any specific requirements that need to be meet and provide a note taker for all my classes. They also provide me with a writer for any exams that I have sat. Any issues or queries I have I am able to make an appointment to discuss them.’
She has also used the Academic Skills Centre to improve her assignments and writing skills.
‘The Academic Skills Centre has been incredibly helpful in checking assignment briefings and assignments for me to clarify what I need to be doing. They are very friendly and always happy to help.’
Living in University Hall was another important part of her first years at UC.
‘They were very accommodating in making sure that I could access everything and were happy to help when needed,’ she says.
‘I enjoy the friendly environment and the support that I have received. Canterbury has become home for me and I have enjoyed the learning journey that I am on.’
Mikaela encourages others students considering doing an Early Childhood degree to look for opportunities developing new teaching styles and skills.
‘My advice would be to be passionate about learning and children. When you are a teacher you are constantly learning and developing skills, and therefore need to be prepared to do so.
‘Once a semester I go out on a practical placement in different early childhood settings to gain experience. As my degree has progressed these placements have gotten longer. I enjoy learning about teaching philosophies and exploring different ways in which early childhood settings work.’