Matrix Primary Academic Supervisor,
Matrix Private Schools
Make the connection
When Adrinna Pierre, 40, enrolled at Dika College to do her Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) in 2005, she did not expect that the decision would lead her to where she is today. Little did she also expect that the programme which she thought would help her make a career change, would lead her inwards to a journey to discover herself.
As the eldest of four siblings, Adrinna worked after her SPM to enable her younger siblings to continue their education. “I wanted to do law, so I was disappointed that I could not proceed with my education; but when I did my diploma, it gave me a deeper appreciation of my parents and it helped me understand why they had to make the decisions they did,” said Adrinna who shared that confronting her insecurities helped her regain her sense of confidence and self-esteem. Unstoppable, Adrinna went on to do her degree and Masters in Early Childhood, and she also managed to squeeze in a Diploma in Disorder Management and Child Psychology.
Adrinna shared that teaching was never on her cards. “When I started the ECE diploma, my eldest son was six and my youngest son was five months old,” she said. “I wanted to pursue a course that would be useful in helping me bring up my sons. As a young mother, I was also of the opinion that it would open up teaching opportunities with conducive working hours,” she added.
“When I completed the programme in 2007, my perspective of early childhood was completely changed. I realised that it was not just the prospect of a job that I was looking at, it was the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Adrinna who added that the lecturers and staff and Dika showed her the true meaning of being educators. “They inspired me with their friendship and humility. They showed me that when we put the child first everything else would fall in place. I have held firmly to that advise and I am where I am today because of their wisdom.”
Adrinna shared that after she completed her diploma, she left her job at the bank and started working in a kindergarten. One opportunity led to another and today she is an academic supervisor for primary at the Matrix Private School in Seremban. “Moving from ECE to primary was a significant change; but the advice of my Dika lecturers, to always keep the child’s interest at heart, rang loud and clear,” she added. Adrinna took the challenge and now puts her ECE training to good use.
“In teaching primary, I have learnt that going back to the basics works best. I always encourage my teachers to make things tangible. For example, rather than making a child count the number of cubes illustrated in the text book, engage him by encouraging him to build one large cube with smaller ones. This helps a child visualise in 3D and involves him in the learning experience,” said Adrinna. “I always remind teachers that the learning experience happens when a connection is established. So find ways to make that connection first.”
“For a person who never wanted to be a teacher to begin with, there is no better place I would rather be today,” enthused Adrinna who added that some of her best moments are when parents tell her how their child enjoys attending school.