Coming from a large family and having worked babysitting jobs throughout high school, Ina Devine felt it was natural for her to work with children.
After finishing her schooling at Chanel College, Ina started studying Psychology and Sociology at Victoria University. However, she quickly came to realise that this wasn’t for her, and working with children was what she really wanted to do.
With the support of friends and family, Ina withdrew from university to pursue her passion. She worked as a nanny while completing a National Certificate in Early Childhood Education through PORSE. She also volunteered at a local Playcentre.
“This experience gave me an insight into early learning and development, and introduced me to teachers and parents who were very passionate about this,” says Ina.
Ina studied the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) through UCOL’s partnership with the
. Ina says distance learning suited her because it gave her the flexibility to work during the day and study at her own pace. She says the support she received through
UCOL’s Wairarapa campus
“UCOL gave me a place to go to study and complete assignments. I had a weekly class with an amazing tutor to support my studies. I also had the opportunity to network with other students.”
“Meeting other students who shared that same passion for teaching as me was one of the biggest highlights. Our small group progressed through the degree together, supporting each other and becoming firm friends.”
While at UCOL, Ina was tasked with leading an Early Childhood taster course for local Year 10 students.
“Being given this responsibility was an honour and it was an incredible experience. I was able to introduce these students to the wonderful world of Early Childhood Education, share my passion for teaching, and give them an insight into how young children learn and develop, and how we can guide this.”
After graduating, Ina began applying for jobs in central Wellington as she wanted to step out of her comfort zone. She taught at
Capital City Preschool
as maternity cover for six months, before picking up a permanent role at Miramar North Kindergarten
“I love my career and working so closely with young children and their whanau,” she says.
In the future, Ina would like to take her studies further.
“I want to complete a Master of Education within the next five years. I also want to travel overseas to teach under different curriculum programmes to gain more knowledge and experience. I’ve always seen myself going beyond the teaching side of the job, potentially studying the psychology side of early education, or moving into writing policy and training other teachers.”