'The lecturers that we get to work alongside are so influential and full of enthusiasm for what they do...'
Teacher, Willowbank School, Auckland
‘Being the best teacher I can be, making a difference to people’s lives, and sharing my love of learning’ are Emily’s main goals as she embarks on her teaching career.
‘I think that from a very young age I wanted to teach, but it wasn’t until I was a year out of high school when someone suggested it to me that I really thought about it. From then on in it was all or nothing!’ Emily says.
Emily has made the most of her time at UC, with one highlight being a trip to Japan.
‘It was the first time that this trip was done, and the Uni is hoping that it will become an annual trip. During our time there we were fortunate to spend days in three different schools to conduct observations and research. It was an amazing trip and extremely well organised as we were able to spend time exploring Japan and become fully immersed in the amazing culture they have over there. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who has the opportunity to go.’
Emily grew up in Queenstown and chose to come to UC for her teaching studies for two reasons: ‘Firstly, because it was different. Not many people from down home choose to come to Christchurch to study, so I thought “well, why not?” And secondly, from looking and researching into the different teaching degrees offered throughout the country, the one offered here really stood out.
‘The best part of this degree is the practical component. Although it is very important to know and understand the theory, sometimes the links don’t get made until you see it in practice.
‘I also think that all the lecturers that we get to work alongside are so influential and full of enthusiasm for what they do, and this really helped me to remain focused and motivated. Which, in turn, leads to enjoyment!
‘I love the community feel and all the extra things the Uni has to offer, such as the clubs and events. I also love the grounds and location. Everyone is friendly and wants to be here which is really nice.’
Before finishing her degree, Emily landed a job teaching year one students at Willowbank School in Botany Downs, Auckland.
‘I applied because Willowbank stood out to me with its vision of “Discover the potential, develop the learning, nurture the relationships”. It was one of the first schools I applied for, and I got a call about the interview on the Thursday, had the interview via Skype on the Friday and found out I had the job on the Saturday! Very quick!’
In her spare time, Emily’s energies are spent ‘with friends and family, going to markets and exploring new places. But mostly I love performing. Whether on stage or off, I’ll give everything a go and I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself as it all counts as life experience and fun times.’
And being open to challenges is important if you want to succeed in a teaching degree. Emily advises: ‘Give it all you’ve got. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Become friends with your lecturers, and embrace all situations on your placements with an open mind. Lastly, remember you are always learning and you’ll never stop, even when you have the degree!’