GIANT LEAP: Jumping for joy after becoming qualified teachers are (from left)
Vianney Douglas, Shanan Gray, and Te Oarani Wilson, who completed their Bachelor of Teaching degrees at the wānanga last year.
Three former Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira from Whirikoka have taken up teaching positions at the same primary school in Gisborne.
The trio have gone from being tauira on the Bachelor of Teaching degree, to
being kaiako at the front and in charge, at Te Wharau Primary School in Gisborne, which has 22 kaiako and 461 tauira.
Vianney Douglas says she was both excited and nervous to be starting her teaching career.
"It is empowering to know the kids are looking up to you, but it can also be daunting knowing you are going to make or break a child's education experience." It is something you do not really prepare for until you have a class of your own."
Vianney says her time at the wānanga studying towards completing a Bachelor of Teaching degree was "supportive and encouraging".
"I felt like the tutors really cared about me. Our tutor Sue Byford has been a huge part of our learning – she cared about the big picture and did not sweat the small stuff."
Shannon Gray says teaching his class of five to seven ‐ year ‐ olds takes alot of energy.
"It is hard to prepare yourself for a class of 30 kids but there are huge support networks in place, both from our colleagues at Te Wharau School and our tutors at the wānanga."
Te Oarani Wilson was studying in Gisborne and commuting back to Tauranga for the first two years of her teaching degree. It was hard work but worth the sacrifice, she said.