Annalyn shares her story about the transition to room leader
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Annalyn shares her story about the transition to room leader

Annalyn shares her story about the transition to room leader

by Freya Lucas

April 21, 2023
A child engages in a painting activity

For Annalyn Tolentino, becoming a supervisor and room leader in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector is the realisation of a long journey from the Philippines to Australia into a career which fulfills her passion for working with children. 


When Ms Tolentino first began her studies in ECEC she was worried about her lack of formal experience, however her fears were soon put to the side, when she was rewarded with early success of job opportunities. She continued her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at South Regional TAFE when she moved to Bridgetown in December 2020.


A mother of five, Ms Tolentino was supported by her lecturer Karen Cai to navigate the challenges of working, parenting and studying while being new to Australia. 


As soon as she finished her Certificate III course, she immediately began her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care in Semester 2, completing the second qualification by September 2022.


Studying, she said, 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,” she said.


Ms Cai describes Annalyn 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,” she said, praising her willingness to learn and community spirit. She now uses Annalyn’s story as an example of success for new students in her classroom on their early childhood pathway.


Ms Tolentino understands firsthand the struggle of squeezing study into a busy schedule, however she 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,” she said.


Ms Tolentino 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 her 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.


Looking to the future, Annalyn said 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.


To learn more about studying with TAFE WA, see here

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