NZTC graduates told to go forth and mess it up a little

NZTC graduates told to go forth and mess it up a little

Graduates celebrate with their Messy Play books

Early childhood education graduates were encouraged to “mess it up a little” and use their license to play at New Zealand Tertiary College’s (NZTC) graduation ceremony held in Christchurch on Wednesday 18 April.

In celebration of this year’s graduates and their service in caring for and educating young children, NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox made a special announcement and launched a new edition of the publication Messy Play – a project the college has worked on with New Shoots and Curiate.

The original version was published five years ago by AKO Books and the Playcentre Federation. Since then, it has proven popular amongst the early childhood sector. The new version features a refreshed design and the addition of a few more messy play ideas to add to the original recipes for teachers and children to explore.

“Play, in all its rich variety, should be central to a young child’s day. For many, our graduation formalities would seem at opposites to messy play, but its importance is what brings us here tonight,” said Fox.

“Knowing play is our professional obligation, our mandate, our guard to honour, we get to take play seriously, and today, the messier the better. So I’m here to encourage you to mess it up a little as an NZTC graduate, ensuring the children in your care have rich, playful messy play and all those around you know - there is no ‘just’ in play for us.”

One of the highlights of the ceremony was Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate representative Alice Ramsay’s empowering and honest speech.

“Who better to love than children?” she asked the packed auditorium.

“Who not only love us back in the purest and simplest way that only a child can, but who also hold such an immense and understated amount of power in their small hands.

“What better profession than to be a teacher? To nurture, guide, provide, and more importantly, inspire leadership in the lives of our tamariki.”

Students who excelled throughout their studies were acknowledged with special commendation awards including Excellence in Practice and the NZTC Values Award for the student who best embodies all four of the college values.

Graduate representative Alice Ramsay

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate Sarah Field, who received the Excellence in Practice Award, was described by her Associate Teacher as “the best student she has ever had”.

Staff who nominated her said, “She has incredible communication skills, a dedication to quality and a commitment to improving her skills as a teacher.”

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduates Malinda Williams and Nicola Annan were jointly awarded the NZTC Values award.

NZTC staff who nominated Malinda said her vision “is to give every child an opportunity in life and to share love, kindness and respect.”

Fellow winner Nicola Annan was described as having “grown incredibly, both professionally and personally through this learning journey. She has excellent knowledge, skills and relationships in bi-cultural practice and without a doubt will develop her leadership in this area.”