Manjimup student Annalyn Tolentino has successfully completed her training and hopes her story inspires other to pursue their career goals in their local communities.
Annalyn was nervous about her lack of experience in early childhood education when she began studying with Central Regional TAFE.
She discovered a real joy for working with children and that was rewarded with early success of job opportunities, and she continued her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at South Regional TAFE when she moved to Bridgetown in December 2020.
Being an immigrant from the Philippines, and with five children, her challenges were overcome by the dedication to reach her goals and support from her lecturer Karen Cai.
After completing her course earlier this year she immediately began her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care in Semester 2. Annalyn completed the second qualification by September 2022.
Annalyn said studying was stressful at first, but the more she learned, the more she gained interest in the field, and her passion grew. "I love teaching… I really want to help," Annalyn assured.
Annalyn's Lecturer, Karen Cai, describes her as a very determined and committed student who wanted to make a difference in her community.
"I really admire her for pushing through to finish" Karen praised and highlighted her willingness to learn and community spirit. Karen uses Annalyn as a success story for new students in her classroom on their early childhood pathway.
Being a full-time working, busy mum of five who values family time and teaches Sunday School at her local church, Annalyn understands firsthand the struggle of squeezing study into a busy schedule.
However, Annalyn believes anyone can do it if they put their heart into it. Her advice to new students starting their journey is always to try hard and let nothing get in the way of your study, no excuses.
"When there's a will, there's a way… you will be proud of yourself," Annalyn said.
Annalyn is now a Before and After School Care Supervisor and a Room Leader for the Early Learning Program at Bridgetown Stepping Stones (where she completed her placement).
With creativity being her strong point, arts, crafts, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities are common themes in Annalyn's classroom.
She also incorporates sustainability, a practice she learned during her Diploma, into her classes by including tasks encouraging the reuse of materials such as water bottles, jars, and cardboard products.
Annalyn said her decision to pursue a career in early childhood education has been the best decision she has ever had. She hopes to one day open a centre of her own, but for now, she is looking forward to watching herself grow and continue learning.
Study Early Childhood Education and Care at South Regional TAFE.