30-year-old Syuhairah Bte Hassan used to be greeted by white clouds almost daily at her previous workplace. Now, she gets to experience the same sight on children’s artworks.
Syuhairah has always wanted to be a pre-school teacher, but chose to start her career as a flight attendant. After six years, she became a stay-home mother for her two young children in 2020. COVID-19 turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it gave her an opportunity to chase her dream of nurturing children.
When Syuhairah’s children grew up, she was keen to return to the workforce as she did not want to put her job experience and skills to waste. She wanted to return to the aviation industry, however it was badly hit amid the pandemic.
Syuhairah was then introduced to the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Early Childhood Care & Education by her two sisters, who are early childhood educators themselves. One of them also went through the CCP back in 2019 and encouraged Syuhairah to sign up for it. As a parent, Syuhairah was also interested in the sector as she would like to learn more about shaping her children’s education at a young age. She knew how big a difference it makes to mould the children of today to be better individuals in the future. Without hesitation, Syuhairah enrolled in the Diploma (Conversion) in Early Childhood Care & Education by National Institute of Early Childhood Development.
As part of her on-the-job training, Syuhairah is a trainee teacher attached to My First Skool at Blk 269 Compassvale Link. Although she found the role tiring initially, she is grateful for the continuous support she has received from the experienced leaders and teachers in the centre. The course has also helped her to handle difficult situations professionally. As a former cabin crew member, she could also apply her communication skills and customer relations skills when communicating with parents. During her training, Syuhairah shows initiative by supporting the class teachers and takes a keen interest in the different aspects of work as an early childhood educator.
“The difference in being a cabin crew and an early childhood teacher is that a teacher has to continually build relationships with parents and develop children’s learning. As a cabin crew, responsibility on board is huge as you have to ensure the safety of the passengers. However, your responsibility ends once the passenger disembarks,” she said.
Syuhairah is currently undergoing the CCP and will graduate in August 2022. She finds the journey rewarding, especially as she gets to build rapport with the children while watching them grow from their very first day at school.