29 Sep Dika College Alumni Series: Professional Push
A viewpoint from Dika College Diploma in Early Childhood
Education alumnus, Olivia Chen, Public Relations Strategist
with Faith Comes by Hearing (KL Branch).
In this article, Olivia shares her experience being an educator,
her thoughts on the early childhood education (ECE) profession,
and provides an update on her recent career move.
No Perfect Families
I understand. There are no perfect families. Every family has its challenges and tussles. All parents want to give their best to their children. In as much as parents struggle, children do too. I saw this in my experience as an educator, especially in working with a child who required special attention.
Manifestation of Anxieties
When a child is mischievous, we label them as being naughty. We sometimes fail to see that these behaviours are a manifestation of their anxieties and insecurities. From my encounters, children can be significantly affected by what goes on around them. For example, I have seen children who do not sleep well doing poorly in Mathematics.
An Educator’s Role
It is the responsibility of an educator to help children work through their frustrations. Sometimes we ‘oversimplify’ the needs of a child. We have to be more empathetic and help children work through and regulate their emotions. As my experience as an educator grew, I also began to see how educators could play a more prominent role in advocating for children.
Support for Profession
My experience at Dika College helped me appreciate the role of educators. My lecturers shared their experiences of the real world and provided me with stepping stones into the profession. Unfortunately, a good number of persons whom I know, who set out to be early childhood educators, have given up the work for jobs that provide them with better financial security.
However, I have noticed a growing appreciation for early childhood education (ECE) and ECE educators in recent times. I am hopeful that greater recognition of educators can lead to better financial commensuration for the professionals in the profession. I hope that all stakeholders will come together to provide ECE educators with the due support they require.
Exploring New Horizons
During my time as an ECE educator, I enjoyed immensely being a personal assistant to a child who required special attention. My greatest reward was to see her move on with her studies without my help.
It so happened that at the same time, an opportunity presented itself at Faith Comes by Hearing, a non-governmental organisation, where I have since taken up a role as a Public Relations Strategist. Here, I work on projects that use Christian educational resources to create faith awareness. In fact, many of our initiatives focus on children aged six to 16.
I am thrilled to say that my experience as an educator has opened a door for me to explore this role. I look forward to this new challenge as I do to the future and all that it holds.