Name: Uma Hariharan
NZTC Qualification: Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)
What inspired you to pursue your early childhood education studies with NZTC?
Late in my career, after my husband passed away, I decided to pursue academics again. I had seen the NZTC ad in the newspaper, and thought that working with little children might give me a new direction in life.
What were you doing before you joined NZTC?
I am a science freak, and therefore went on to study a qualification in microbiology from Mumbai University. I entered into teaching and worked as a lecturer at Ramnarain Ruia College and visiting lecturer at the Institute of Chemical Technology. Later I left the college and started science tuition from home.
How did NZTC support you during your studies?
The NZTC team and the India office were very encouraging and a big help. When I started the NZTC qualification, it was my first attempt to write academic essays after a very long gap. The academic team in India gave me valuable feedback and good suggestions to enhance my essays.
What was your online study experience?
Studying online was a totally new world to me. By the end of my studies I got very comfortable with it, but it had its share of challenges. The biggest challenge was writing the essays. I had forgotten that an essay needs an intro, discussion points, and a conclusion; many times it would look like a huge chunk of content pasted onto a paper. However, after the discussions during support sessions, I could improve the essays. Another challenge was my slow typing speed.
Which courses did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed a lot of courses, from knowing about Te Whāriki to courses that focussed on leadership qualities, various theories of early childhood education, understanding socio-cultural development, as well as the growth and development research topic. I thoroughly enjoyed learning and understanding the implementation of the zone of proximal development by Lev Vygotsky.
How has the NZTC qualification benefitted you in your current role?
When I interact with children now, I observe more than I did before. I look forward to volunteering with special schools and working with young children.