Home Region : Pitas, Sabah
Undergrad Education : Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Dika College
(Year graduated, 2010)
Job Title : Assistant Principal, Pink Tower Child Care Centres, Puchong
Job Competency : Supervisory, Management, Mentor and Educator
“I CHOOSE TO LEAD WITH MY HEART”
Norhayati Tijim shares her daily tasks, a case study tackling a common issue with children, and a personal initiative close to her heart. She also has some strong advice for those who intend to choose child care as a career. “Ask yourself if you are tough enough because this profession is not as easy as what it seems,” she said.
Norhayati’s typical day at work could consist of some, or on some days all of the following.
- 00am – Arrive at one of the two centres under her care.
- Catch up with staff at the centre on pressing issues.
- Check that the facilities at the centre are in good order.
- Counsel a teacher who is having trouble handling a particular student.
- Discuss with a visiting vendor on software training for teachers.
- Peruse through resumes of students who are seeking internship at the centre.
- Run a 30-minute training session for teachers on the latest pedagogical updates.
- Handle a walk-in enquiry from a parent.
- Meet and greet parents who arrive to pick up their child.
- 00pm Leave for home.
“Children today have a mind of their own, and they can be very firm with their likes and dislikes,” said Norhayati who explained that this attitude can drive a teacher to frustration.
“I advise teachers to use the first two weeks of a new term to bond with the children. There will be no serious studying in these two weeks, but both teacher and student will engage in activities that will help both parties understand one another and manage the expectations that one has for the other,” she said.
“Children are simple. Love them and they will love you back,” shared Norhayati who emphasised that respect must be earned. “Children are very intuitive, they can sense if you genuinely care for them, and if you sincerely do they will respond positively. So be firm but with kindness,” she added.
Norhayati holds dear to her roots and twice a year, she takes a week off at a time to return to her hometown in Sabah to teach at a kindergarten. “The children here have so little but they are matured beyond their years. All they need is an opportunity,” said Norhayati who is mindful that to whom much is given, from him or her much is expected. “I have been blessed, and I must use my blessings to improve the life of another child,” she added. She also shared that her lecturers at Dika had always ingrained in the students the importance of giving back.
Sincerity and genuineness are tops for persons considering early childhood education as a profession. “Do not expect incomes that you would get in the business or banking sectors,” advised Norhayati who was keen to share that through hard work, perseverance and an unconditional love for the child, one can attain an emotionally and financially rewarding career.