Graduation is usually the first exciting step before securing a job, but for primary teacher Olivia Buckner the job came first.
Olivia decided her teaching interest was with new entrants. In the final year of her programme she was attached to a Year One class at Andersons Bay School in Dunedin. Before she graduated, the school had employed her to continue teaching the new entrant class for term four, and subsequently offered her a Year One class for the following year.
"It was brilliant and confirmed for me all of the learning I had done. I pushed myself to choose new entrants, and as it happened that was where there was growth in the school.
"I learnt in a team teaching environment, which made everything less daunting and meant that I started my teaching career with confidence."
From Wellington, Olivia chose to study at Otago because of the many pathways offered, including a specialised three-year primary teaching degree.
"Over three years I had experience in classes at differing levels. This meant when it came to my final year I knew that I wanted to specialise in the junior end of the school.
"I use a lot of what I have learnt within the classroom every day. The practical component of the degree allows you to put your learning into practice.
"I love going to school and seeing the children, their smiles and enthusiasm. I also love when they have an 'aha' moment. It is so rewarding to see this and the children become so proud of themselves."