Auckland Schools' Teacher Training Programme - Testimonials

Alex Woodall, Mathematics Teacher

Alex Woodall, who has a degree in Biomedical Engineering, was one of the trainee teachers at Diocesan School last year and now teaches Maths to a range of age groups. He previously worked as a research assistant in the musculoskeletal group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, focusing on basketball players.

Twenty-five-year-old Alex said he enjoyed the transition into teaching and was able to develop with the school as the year progressed.

“I was comfortable teaching in the classroom from day one,” he said. “It helped that I was already familiar with the staff and the school environment.

“Because I had a lot of in-class training last year, I was confident coming into my classes and how to get them up and running. I can’t think of anything that the in-school training didn’t prepare me for.”

Lachlan Craig, Music Teacher, Assistant Director of Performing Arts

This is a sentiment echoed by music teacher Lachlan Craig, who was in the Performing Arts department at St Kentigern College before he joined Dio.

A trained conductor and singer, thirty-two-year-old Lachlan has spent several years singing in Voices NZ Chamber Choir and performing as a Freemasons Artist with New Zealand Opera.

“I’ve felt very comfortable moving into teaching this year, having been able to train in the classroom at Dio last year,” he said.

“Being able to build relationships with students last year and continue them in 2022 was a significant advantage in setting up my classroom culture and routines,” he added.

“Having a working knowledge of the school systems, calendar and curriculum meant that I was able to go into so much more detail with my planning and design for learning.

“I already had great working relationships with my colleagues and know where to find resources when I need them. Given the challenges that COVID is still bringing schools, I was very grateful to have so much institutional knowledge to rely on.”

Larissa Reddiex, On Call House Tutor, Teacher Trainee

Twenty-two-year-old Larissa Reddiex completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in Anatomy and Pharmacology at Otago University in 2021.  She became very aware of the impact that a teacher could have on a student’s learning experience and decided to take up teaching to help inspire students by providing a positive secondary school experience.

She is one of two trainee teachers at Dio this year.

“The school-based training programme has exceeded my expectations,” she says. “It allows for a far greater degree of student contact on the ground and in the classroom and is without a doubt the most effective way to develop as a teaching professional.

“I’m just two terms into this year and I feel almost ready to take on my own classes!,” she said.

She says the regular and extended exposure to classroom life and teaching has immersed her into all elements of teaching life; including lesson preparation, content delivery, relationship building and problem solving.

“Being stationed at a school for an entire year has allowed me to work alongside other colleagues as I seek assistance, engage in co-planning, attend faculty meetings, and staff- only days.

“It’s been great to learn from experienced practitioners, and to build professional camaraderie with them.

“The other big plus is the opportunity to really get to know your students.  As rapport and trust is established at a deeper level, your investment in the students is reciprocated by them.”

“I can’t recommend the programme highly enough,” she says. “The experience you gain is unparalleled and sets you up for success as a first-year teacher.”

Simon Garrett, Teacher Trainee, Creative Industries Technician 

Forty-three-year-old Simon Garrett has been working as a Creative Industries technician at Dio for the past four years, and is responsible for the running and maintenance of art and digital manufacturing machinery such as 3D printers, laser cutters, glass kilns and virtual reality units.

Prior to that, he spent 10 years in the film industry, making props for movies such as Avatar, Mulan, and The Chronicles of Narnia. He is also a qualified jeweller.

He decided to take up teaching to help round out his career experience, and to provide further employment options.

He is finding the trainee programme both interesting and rewarding, as he navigates his way between juggling a full-time job with full-time study.

“I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time, and I love being able to teach the ākonga while gaining valuable insights from our talented kaiako here at Diocesan.

“The school has such wonderful students who are a pleasure to teach, and combined with our amazing facilities and resources, I can’t think of a better place to be.”

Applications are currently open for the 2023 school year and can be made via the website here.

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