Fed up with school at 16, many teenagers will either drop out or become so disengaged they fail. Jess Gaul-Crown was determined this wasn’t going to happen to her.
With four younger brothers and a lot of babysitting experience, Jess had always known her career lay in early childhood education.
At 16 she had completed NCEA Level 1 and 2 and was keen to make a start on tertiary study, however, due to her age, options were very limited.
“I’d had enough of school and knew what I wanted to do, but because I was 16 I didn’t have many choices,” Jess says.
However, thanks to some diligent internet research Jess discovered the Certificate in Preparation for Early Childhood Teacher Education (L4) at Manukau Institute of Technology.
This course is designed for students who want a career in early childhood teaching, but need to complete their NCEA qualifications first.
After a year’s study Jess has graduated with a solid grounding in early childhood knowledge, as well as University Entrance.
She says it has also made her “grow up” and take responsibility for herself.
Jess has been staggered by some of what she has learnt, including the prevalence of obesity in very young children, and she is keen to make a difference in her community. This year she will begin her Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) at MIT’s Queen Street campus.
Programme Leader Rawinia Coe says the Certificate in Preparation for Early Childhood Teacher Education is unique and can help students who do not have University Entrance make the transition into tertiary education.
“Some of our students have been told they will never succeed, but we have seen students doing the opposite of this. Students have proven to their families, friends and partners, but especially to themselves, that they can succeed. We offer all types of support for the students academically and pastorally.
“Students like Jess make our jobs worthwhile. Jess showed her commitment and dedication throughout last year by attending every day and getting all assessments in on time. Jess has the passion that will make her a sought after early childhood teacher and a wonderful role model for the children she will be working with in the future,” Rawinia says.