Krissie moves from the air to the playground
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Krissie used the COVID-19 pandemic to reposition to a career in ECEC

Krissie used the COVID-19 pandemic to reposition to a career in ECEC

by Freya Lucas

March 21, 2024

As was the story for many, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Krissie Emaden from her long held career as a flight attendant into a whole new world – in her case working with children in early childhood education and care (ECEC).


“I loved my time in aviation, but it started to feel more like a routine and the excitement began to fade,” she said.


“I realised that teachers made the world a better place during the pandemic, encouraging our children to continue to learn and grow despite what else was happening around the world.”


The soft skills she had gained while working as a flight attendant, such as being patient and composed in tense situations were ones which transferred well into ECEC, where she was supported by her Postgraduate Diploma in Education (ECE) which she undertook at the New Zealand Tertiary College. 


She found the Children and Families in Early Childhood Education course to be an excellent introduction, also enjoying The Authentic Leader and The Effective Early Childhood Manager. 


The variety of perspectives and philosophies she encountered through her program were enlightening, and having the opportunity to study with others from different backgrounds meant that the weekly discussion groups were interesting, forcing her to consider insights and perspectives she hadn’t encountered before. 


“For example, I learnt through my studies that children possess their own agency and autonomy and that our role as teachers is to support them from behind, only stepping in when they seek assistance,” she said.


Now teaching in an early childhood centre, Ms Emaden loves every day of her new and fulfilling career guiding the next generation.


“Early childhood education is a profession deeply rooted in compassion and the desire to impart knowledge, love and kindness to children, as they absorb and learn from the attitudes and behaviours demonstrated to them,” she said.


Please see here for more information. 

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