Name: Sylvia Gillett
NZTC Qualification: Master of Education (Early Childhood Education)
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood education?
When I went to Zambia as a wife and mother, I decided that I would offer my services at a small preschool. I was not a qualified early childhood teacher at that time, but the people I worked with were wonderfully supportive and helped me to grow in this field. I found that I loved every minute of working with small children and decided to pursue it as a career.
What has your career been like up to this point?
I have worked in preschools in different parts of Africa and Asia as a teacher and in leadership roles. The experiences working in different countries and meeting a diversity of cultures added to my open-mindedness, values and beliefs when working with small children.
You currently live in China. How did you end up working there?
Prior to living in China I worked in Bangalore, India, for three years. I met a couple of teachers who had previously worked in China and loved it. I applied for a job at a preschool in Shenzhen and was fortunate to be offered the role as a teacher. It was a new cultural experience for me but I embraced it and have enjoyed my work here.
You already completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) with NZTC. What motivated you to pursue the Master of Education (ECE)?
Pursuing the Master of Education (ECE) will assist me in going forward in my career and enable me to develop professionally. I am keen to research an area related to early childhood education whilst I am in China, so this is a great opportunity for me to do this. I will also be the first female in my family to have a Master’s degree.
What has your experience studying through NZTC Online like?
I found it to be such an incredible learning experience. It was an awesome feeling to be in an online classroom with like-minded people. The support from other students and lecturers was amazing. I could not have had any more support had I been in a physical classroom. I also found that the content of the courses were very connected to my everyday working experiences and I was able to apply my knowledge in my job as I learned new things. It’s exciting!
What challenges have you faced studying online?
The challenge for me was about time management because I also have a full-time job. Self-discipline and a study schedule was a good way to keep up with studying.
What would your advice be for other people from around the world who are contemplating studying with NZTC Global?
My advice would be to seize the opportunity! Having the flexibility of studying when it suits you is a great thing in this day and age. To be able to arrange your study schedule around your family, job and lifestyle is a massive benefit.