Thursday, May 02, 2013 Iwk Bureau
Mohanan began his professional career as a primary school teacher in India in the mid 80s. From this experience he grew to realise how crucial the early years are in deciding a person’s character. It was this realisation coupled with a revelation from his church pastor in 2008 that spurred him to pursue a career working with younger children as an early childhood teacher.
“Put simply; I see my career choice as a spiritual mission… I have always believed in the famous quote “if your wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if your health is lost, something is lost; and if your character is lost, everything is lost.”
In 2009, Mohanan attended an NZTC information evening held in Kochi City. It was here he spoke to NZTC’s Marketing Manager for India, Sanil Haria. Mohanan was impressed by the quality of education and practical experience NZTC’s programs offered and Sanil assisted him to enrol in the one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education). Mohanan chose to study via NZTC’s unique online learning environment, NZTC Online, which would enable him to study from Napier, New Zealand – where his 23-year old daughter lived- as well as offering him the flexibility of fitting study around his field practise placements.
Mohanan says the College was there for him every step of the way: “New Zealand Tertiary College supported me well to adjust with every new, challenging situation. The lecturers help motivated me to explore the world literature and relate it to my own recent experience and my visiting lecturer for field practice placements thoroughly supported and encouraged me.”
From his studies and practical experience Mohanan has learnt the importance of child-centred care and child-directed education: “A teacher needs to nourish cognitive, emotional, social, physical, linguistic and spiritual domains. Role-modelling is an important aspect of effective teaching. The methods of teaching should be interesting to children. The teacher’s approach should evoke children’s curiosity and self learning skills.”
Mohanan completed his home centre field practise at Kidspace Quality Early Learning Centre in Napier. Despite men in early childhood being scarce, Mohanan was warmly welcomed in the centre. Some parents told him openly that they were happy to see a man in early childhood and some children seemed to have a more natural emotional attachment to men: “Quite interestingly a few infants who were not ready to settle with female teachers got easily settled with me in my home centre.”
He hopes to use what he has learnt at NZTC to promote the importance of early childhood education in global context, alongside his Christian faith. He believes men and women from all cultures and countries need to be represented in early childhood education. “I congratulate NZTC for bringing student teachers with different experiences to New Zealand and for leading them to post modern concepts of education. I believe I have found the right path.”
Mohanan says that anyone wanting to be an early childhood teacher will need to have a loving and respectful nature and a calm and caring attitude.
New Zealand Tertiary College is a privately owned tertiary institution specialising in high quality early childhood education qualifications based in Greenlane, Auckland. Programs range from the six-month Certificate in Early Childhood Education (Introduction) to the two-year Master of Education (Early Childhood Education).
NZTC’s website www.nztertiarycollege.ac.nz, is continually updated with information.