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A love of teaching comes naturally for Kacie McKay, as the daughter of an early childhood teacher who studied her ECE qualification while raising four young daughters and running her own centres.
“My mum inspires me every day. She’s an amazing teacher and has worked hard to create these amazing centres where children thrive,” Kacie said.
Now following in her mum’s footsteps as she studies towards a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), Kacie sees her own career not just as an opportunity to shape good students, but good citizens.
“Children can learn to respect nature and the living world within it. I want to inspire them to be sustainable young citizens of the land, while also having fun and learning alongside one another.”
Kacie encourages the children at her centre to explore their environment and interact with the living world through play, outdoor activities and farm experiences.
“Our centre’s philosophy incorporates the richness of Papatūānuku - Mother Earth. It promotes a curriculum that is inclusive of all children and they are provided with opportunities to holistically learn and develop,” she shared.
“They are provided with optimal space to explore their environment and learn and develop at their own pace. Everybody is made to feel welcome, partnering with whānau is vitally important and bicultural practices are valued and implemented on a daily basis.”
Studying with NZTC has given Kacie a deeper understanding of young children’s development, making her more confident in her interactions with children, families and communities.
“My study has allowed me to grow my understanding of children’s development and understand their needs and feelings as they go through different stages,” she said.
“The Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) has helped me to develop closer relationships with whānau and children while also developing my teaching skills.”