Name: Sushma Nalapat
NZTC Qualification: Bachelor of Education (ECE)
What were you doing before you began studying with NZTC?
I was, and am, working in an educational institution in India called Sadhbhavana. We have a nationally acclaimed K12 school and we also run an early childhood division under us which has many centres around India. I work as the Head of Operations of the group and also lead the early childhood education division.
What inspired you to pursue your early childhood education studies with NZTC?
Initially, I decided to do the course as I thought it would help me in my job as the head of an early childhood education division. However, I later fell in love with it and started to research deeper into the field.
How did you find out about NZTC and why did you choose to study with us?
One of my mentors, Dr. Kamini Rege who is an expert in the field, guided me to do the course. I also read up about it online and decided to do the course as I felt it was more thorough and one of the best when it comes to early childhood education training.
How did NZTC and the NZTC India Office support you during your studies?
The support and encouragement I received was really great. The connection that NZTC and NZTC India keeps with their students is commendable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during your studies?
Time. Working full time, being a single mum and doing the course was tough.
Which courses did you enjoy the most?
My favourite courses were ‘Quality Curriculum’ and ‘Multicultural Perspectives’.
How did you find studying online? Any challenges or triumphs?
I found it quite stress-free as the online platform was user friendly and easy to navigate. I didn’t face many challenges. The only thing I found difficult was not being able to take part in the discussion forums as often as I would have liked due to time constraints.
What do you consider your biggest achievement during your studies to be?
I managed to complete all the courses on time and keep my scores between distinction and merit!
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans for the future?
I am continuing my work with early childhood education in the same company and am now playing a more active role in curriculum development and bringing developmentally appropriate practices into the classroom.
What advice would you give to people considering studying early childhood education?
Early childhood education is an ocean of knowledge. If you are planning to study the course it is very important to allocate ample time for research and reading. It would also help if you are able to apprentice in a preschool near you as the hands-on experience greatly supports the learning that you do online. Early childhood education lays the foundation for all future learning for the child so it’s important that you understand the philosophy and practices clearly so that it can be translated into the classroom environment.
How does your NZTC qualification help you in your everyday work?
It changed my perspective about early childhood education and made me realise its importance. Now I have an insight and a wider knowledge that helps me draw up plans that are beneficial to the child. I am also able to make informed decisions when it comes to curriculum development, delivery and assessment.