Never Stop Learning

Four decades into her early childhood career, Jane Warnock is furthering her knowledge through Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood Education

Who would have thought that 44 years into my early childhood education career, I would be studying for a Master of Education (ECE)? I was no academic student during my school years in the 1970s. I struggled with subjects that had no signifi cance to fulfi l my life-long ambition of being a teacher with tamariki. In 1979, I applied to Teacher’s College to study as a kindergarten teacher, but lacking the necessary qualifi cations, that door never opened. Instead, my journey as a ‘childcare teacher’ began at a childcare centre in Feilding where I worked and studied towards my first ECE tertiary qualification with Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand.


I use the word ‘passion’ to describe my love of everything ECE because I’ve come to see it as an intrinsic value. As Zhang cited in Woolston & Dayman, 2022, “Passion is seen as a disposition that teachers foster; it is relationship based and considered essential for teaching.” I found my passion to study with Te Rito Maioha. I grew as a teacher and leader through study and experience – gaining my childcare certificate, teacher registration, teaching equivalence certificate and Bachelor of Teaching.

In 2014, I combined my passion for study with my career as an ECE leader, mentor, and coach through Te Rito Maioha’s Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership (ECE).


In 2018, I began studying a Master of Education through a university but after completing one paper (with an A) I realised my tūrangawaewae (place) was with Te Rito Maioha, within an ECE and educational world. My university paper was cross-credited towards my Masters and the ‘study passion’ inside of me began to fl y again. Even more exciting, I could select my own thesis research question: ‘Who leads the leader, who mentors the mentor, and who coaches the coach?” I am so excited about this self-study methodology. I’m excited for Tūī Early Learners (my besties) and the wider ECE community that will benefit from my research. I’m thrilled that Te Rito Maioha’s perseverance and determination in providing quality ECE study programmes continues to unfold for so many kaiako (teachers) in Aotearoa and abroad. Remember, celebrate your own successes and follow your passion! We all have the perfect environment alongside the tamariki in ECE to do exactly that with no holding back.

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