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"While I didn’t do well at high school, I always knew that Iwanted to be a teacher in early childhood," says Teleise, who qualified with Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand, which has a teaching base in Dunedin.
"I chose to study with Te Rito Maioha because my daughter’s kindergarten said they were good. The fact that you need to work or volunteer in an early-childhood centre for at least 12 hours a week also appealed. It appealed because I could study and get practical experience, and towards the end of my study, I was in a paid position."
Teleise says she always brags on about the Te Rito Maioha lecturers.
"They were very supportive and I am forever grateful to them. When I started my study, I didn’t have a lot of confidence. But the lecturers kept on saying ‘you can do it’ and in the end, I did, thanks to their support.
"I also really appreciated Te Rito Maioha’s bicultural focus, because of the understanding of tikanga it gave me. The bicultural focus also helped me reconnect with my own Samoan culture, which I’d lost.
Now I work in a language nest and am surrounded by several different cultures, which I really enjoy."