Byron Sanders wanted to gain a broad understanding of education, which meant studying a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies and Psychology alongside a Bachelor of Teaching in Primary Education.
“It's useful to have that practical understanding of how you teach children from the teaching degree but also the in-depth knowledge of why we teach children the way that we do from Education Studies.”
While working as a teacher Byron completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Although he enjoyed his time teaching he always saw himself working in a more holistic role focused on vulnerable children.
“I never saw myself as a life-long teacher and the Bachelor of Arts set me up with other opportunities.”
“Education Studies gave me a political and theoretical understanding of how and why people learn. The ability to tailor assignments to your own interests was also really valuable.”
Byron now works for the Ministry of Education as a Special Education Advisor, within the behaviour team for the Otago region.
“We provide in-school support for teachers and other people who work alongside children that have behaviour needs. We work collaboratively to make a plan for that child who isn't necessarily succeeding in the 'natural pathway'.”
“My Education Studies degree gave me a holistic view of what education is and a global view of what it could be. When you are looking at children who don't fit the mould, its good to have a diverse knowledge around what could be put in place.”
“Having the teaching experience as well grounds me and gives me a good grasp of what is achievable in the classroom.”
Byron's passion for vulnerable children shows in his continued study – currently he is completing a Master of Arts part-time focused on how to build resilience in children.