Monday 17 December 2018 5:25pm
Bachelor of Teaching graduands endorsed in Bicultural Education (Te Pōkai Mātauranga o te Ao Rua) were honoured at the Te Herenga a Whānau (the bringing together of family) ceremony at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff, before joining other Southland campus graduands in Invercargill for pre-graduation celebrations on 7 December.
Many of the 27 Bachelor of Teaching graduates who studied at the University of Otago’s College of Education Southland campus - who gained degrees in Dunedin on 15 December - are already helping reduce the teacher shortage in Southland’s early childhood centres and primary schools.
Seventeen Bachelor of Teaching graduands endorsed in Bicultural Education (Te Pōkai Mātauranga o te Ao Rua) were honoured at Te Herenga a Whānau (the bringing together of family) ceremonies at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff, and later in Invercargill, on 7 December.
A highlight of the morning celebrations was family and friends' often emotional acknowledgements of the highs and lows graduands had experienced while studying.
Southland Campus Programme Co-ordinator Jill Paris says many final-year students were offered teaching positions in Southland after forming relationships with education providers while on practical placements this year.
“Aside from placements, they are already making a huge impact in the sector. Many have been busy doing daily relieving this term because of the desperate shortage of relieving teachers locally.
“Former Southland campus graduates make up a large proportion of staff in local schools and early childhood centres, as most graduates choose to remain in Southland. It is very rewarding to visit schools and early childhood centres and see that so many of the teachers are previous graduates, now making a difference in children’s lives. It is also very exciting to see these same teachers mentoring current students,” Paris says.
Donovan Primary Principal Peter Hopwood says the longstanding relationship with the College of Education’s Southland campus has been highly beneficial for both partners.
“In this ‘hard to find’ staff climate it is great to know that we have local people who are training locally and want to work in Southland schools.”
“Each year we welcome third-year training teachers into our school and through practicum have got to know and include some pretty fantastic ‘up and coming’ teachers. At Donovan Primary, over the years, we have employed at least half a dozen Year 1 teachers and have been very happy with the quality of these graduates,” Mr Hopwood says.
The school’s pupils have benefitted hugely from the experience of meeting and being taught by the College’s new teachers who “join in and take all opportunities to be part of the school life.”
“They make a great contribution coaching teams, training groups, going on camp and being part of whole community events, and we are pleased to be able to help in their training for their future jobs.”