Entering the workforce may, to most, mark their well-anticipated commencement from education into the adult world. But for early childhood educators Sumitra and Jessie, learning is just another day at the job.
By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman
The line between studying and working is a fine and often blurred one if you are in the early childhood education sector. This vocation entails quality education for the children and, at the same time, provides lifelong skill sets for the educators.
Starting off as an English teacher with NTUC First Campus in 2005, Sumitra Hari was able to obtain her Degree in Early Childhood Studies with Wheelock College through her employer’s ‘Interest Free Study Loan’ scheme. She has since progressed to her current position as Principal for My First Skool in Woodlands.
“When you’re a teacher, you look at things from a different perspective,” she says. “And when you’re a principal, it’s a holistic approach that you have to take. I’m growing and learning at the same time.”
The indistinct separation between work and study also manifests itself for Jessie Lim, a trainee teacher at My First Skool in Bukit Panjang. Her weekly two- to three-day attachment with the centre is a requirement for the one-year WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education (Accelerated) course, fully sponsored by NTUC First Campus.