Realising her dream

Lynette Tabuwere
  • Early childhood teacher

Lynette Tabuwere says that completing her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) has not only led to realising her dream of becoming a teacher, but has also enabled her to show her family that no matter how old you are, it is possible to undertake tertiary study. 

Getting started

The 40-year-old mother of three, who immigrated to New Zealand with her family from Fiji nine years ago, first enrolled in tertiary study in 2010.

“When we were in Fiji I knew I wanted to be a teacher. For financial reasons and looking after three children, I couldn’t study at the time but it was always at the back of my mind.”

The flexibility offered by the Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s leading distance education provider, appealed to Lynette and after completing a certificate in early childhood education with another tertiary education provider, she decided to work towards her degree, which she completed last year.

Flexible learning

“The Open Polytechnic ticked all the boxes. With flexibility and a suitable distance learning programme, it allowed me to continue to work and at the same time spend time with my family. Sports play a big role in my family. All the children were involved in sports but due to this flexibility in learning I was able to attend and watch them compete,” she explains.

With family support and the right study techniques, Lynette was able to achieve her study goals.

“While I was studying, I would have music playing on the background, which helped me focus. My family played a big role in my study; especially with helping with chores. I couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for them.” 

Putting theory into practice

Lynette now works in an early childcare centre full-time and says the theory she has studied has not only helped her professionally, but personally too.

“My studies so far have made me realise the importance of nurturing children at a very young age. I am able to relate to my studies and put theories into practice. My learning does not stop here. I believe that you learn new things every day from your colleagues, children that you teach, their families and the whānau,” she explains.

“I have learnt a lot about raising children through my studies. As I learn, I reflect on my own experience in raising my children and have been able to pass that onto my brothers and sisters who are raising children. Even though my children are now teenagers, the theory can be carried through, it all applies,” she says.

Role model

Lynette says that completing her degree has also enabled her to be a role model for family members in her home country.

“I think women believe that if they have married and had children, they can’t study. I feel like I have been able to show them that it can be done. They can see I have raised my children and pursued my studies. I think I have motivated them, that if I can do it. They can do it too.”

With flexibility and a suitable distance learning programme, [Open Polytechnic] allowed me to continue to work and at the same time spend time with my family.