While educators across Australia have been doing it tough throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Paige Taylor has been feeling particularly isolated, completing her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education during the pandemic, studying online and missing the connection with her workmates.
Despite the pressure of maintaining a full-time job and isolation due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Ms Taylor was pleased to recently graduate with a Bachelor of Education from Charles Sturt University.
“The course was great but combining work and study time, at home, added to the sense of cabin fever after a while,” Ms Taylor shared. “COVID-19 caused our workdays to be cut back which created a huge hurdle for me, socially.”
Ms Taylor was drawn to working with children based on her experience as growing up the youngest in a family of five, and the only girl.
“I am very proud of my family and what we have achieved, together and individually,” she said.
“I am very grateful to be part of such a tight-knit family.”
Ms Taylor was interested in babies from a young age, which saw her collecting many dolls to play with. These childhood interests stayed with Paige influencing her career in children’s education.
After completing high school Ms Taylor took a couple of gap years which allowed her to consider what she wanted to do in the workforce.
“I had a few years in between high school and starting uni to get clear on what I wanted to do and where I wanted my career to go,” she explained.
“I spent time studying my Certificate III and Diploma in Early Education, and it was during this time that I knew I wanted to continue expanding my knowledge and experience to provide the best possible care for children.”
Ms Taylor began working as an early childhood educator at Fit Kidz Dural a few months prior to starting her Certificate III studies.
Working in this role fostered her growing love and interest in children and their development, inspiring her toward a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt.
“As I loved my job and the hands-on experience I was getting I did not want to give that up to take on further study,” she said. “I applied to study my course, online, in the hopes I could do both.”
Despite the challenges presented during this period, Ms Taylor was determined to get her degree and is proud of herself for “pushing through the hard times.”