UCMe - Gemma, ECE Teaching, University of Canterbury, NZ
Gemma Moore


Gemma Early Childhood Teaching
Ngāi Tahu

What inspired you to go into teaching?

I’ve always known that I loved working with children. My family said they thought I’d make a good teacher so I decided to work in early childhood education.

What’s been the highlight of your degree?

The level of intelligence and expertise of the teachers. Every single lecturer I’ve had has been so welcoming and wise. The courses are really good too. In three years we cover everything you can imagine - from play through to brain development.

Do you get much time working with kids?

We go on two placements every year, including a community placement in second year. Placements are great because they’re so hands-on. The associate teachers work with you one on one, and have so much knowledge and advice to give. Being in the classroom gives you a chance to put theories into practice, and it really builds your confidence too.

How have you connected with your Ngāi Tahu background at UC?

In education we learn so much te reo and have a tikanga Māori course every year. Growing up, I wasn’t particularly connected with my Ngāi Tahu side. Now I can use te reo in my daily life and I feel much closer to my own heritage.

Tell us about the wider community at UC, how have you found it?

It’s been really welcoming and diverse. There are loads of clubs and ways to get involved. I’ve joined CurrySoc, the Tea Society and I was captain of the netball team in my first year. The clubs are a great way to meet people you might not come across otherwise.

"Being in the classroom on placement gives you a chance to put theories into practice, and it really builds your confidence too."

What’s been your proudest achievement at UC?

The boost in confidence from going on placements and realising that I can stand up in front of a class of thirty kids and teach. I’ve appreciated all the positive feedback I’ve received, kept up A/A+ grades and been awarded some really awesome scholarships!

Do you have a dream for the future?

I’d like to manage or own my own centre one day. I’d never imagined myself in a boss level position, but the positive feedback I’ve received has been so encouraging.

What’s the secret to success at UC?

Take every opportunity on offer. Join in class discussions and put your voice out there. It’s the best way to learn. As they say, you get out what you put in!