How motherhood inspired Jessie to follow her teaching dreams

A woman holding her young daughter stands in front of a wall of balloons. The woman is smiling and her daughter is eating an icecream.

Becoming a mother to Mirahn gave Wintec student Jessie Adamson the kickstart she needed to pursue her dreams in Early Childhood Education. 

Jessie Adamson’s desire to spend more time with her young daughter was the fire in her belly she needed to follow her dream to becoming an early childhood educator.

Adamson, who came to Huntly, New Zealand from Papua New Guinea in 2010, is almost through her first year of studies in the Te Paetahi Akoranga Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) programme at Wintec.

Although she always had a passion and affinity for working with children, it wasn’t until the birth of her daughter, Mirahn, in 2018 when Adamson decided to take the plunge and enrol in the degree-level programme at Wintec.

“I always wanted to do work as an early childhood educator, but I never pushed myself to do it,” she says.

“Once I had my daughter, I decided to get my act together and do it. I wanted to be a good role model for her, and I’ve never looked back since. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” she says with a smile.

Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Adamson’s passion for being with children started at an early age as looking after kids was part of her everyday life.

“It was normal for us to always look after kids that were younger than us. If my aunties needed to cook or do the washing, responsibilities would fall back on us,” she remembers.

“I actually really enjoyed it though, and I was passionate about it. I wanted to pursue it as a career but back home, it wasn’t really doable. In New Zealand there is so much opportunity to develop in that field.”

As a solo mum, Adamson finds juggling work and study challenging, but has a positive role model in her own mother, who was also a solo parent.

“Being a mother and studying is really challenging. But my mum was a single mum so seeing her handle it has given me guidance. And there were six of us, so me having one feels like nothing compared to that,” she says.

“She’s my role model. She prepared me for this in a way that I wasn’t aware of, and I have that continued help and support from her as well as we live together in Huntly.”

An aspect of this career path that appealed to Adamson, is the prospect of being able to spend time with her daughter while she works.

“I have mum guilt because I feel like I don’t spend enough time with my daughter because I’m studying and working. I do assessments on the weekends too so I’m very busy,” says Adamson.

“When I graduate, it would brilliant to get a full-time job where my daughter goes to daycare. Being able to spend as much time as I can with her would be a dream come true.”

An added challenge has been studying during Covid-19 lockdown, an experience Adamson describes as “a big challenge”.

“My brother and his partner came over with their child just before lockdown. So I was also looking after my niece during that time as her father was an essential worker.

“It was a full house, the kids were running everywhere! I was just trying to keep sane. But I pulled through, and I’m really proud of myself for that,” she says.

Although this compromise is challenging for her, Adamson has no regrets about entering her field of study and is glowing with positivity about what she is learning.

“This is my first experience with tertiary education and I had no idea what to expect. But it’s just amazing. There’s so much learning – we’re always unpacking new things that I never would have imagined,” she beams.

“There are so many teachings connected to what we’re learning and the way our lecturers weave that into raising brilliant children for the future is amazing. It’s such a new and brilliant experience.”

Interested in studying a Te Paetahi Akoranga Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)?

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