Swapping the camera for a classroom

25 August 2010

Josh Buxton

In the frame: Josh Buxton is on the home straight of his teaching diploma at the University of Waikato in Tauranga.

Last year Josh Buxton reached a turning point in his life – he could either continue with his growing photography business or bring his skills and diverse life experiences to a career in teaching secondary school art.

Luckily for Bay students, Josh chose teaching and is now in the final months of the University of Waikato’s Graduate Diploma of Teaching – Secondary in Tauranga, which he says is “full-on” with lots of opportunities for practical experience.

Josh completed a degree in media arts, majoring in photography, through Wintec in 2005, and continues to run his photography business on a part-time basis during his studies. But it was during a recent two-year stint as a labourer on the Tauranga Harbour Bridge that Josh began making his future plans.

“Working on the bridge was a great opportunity and I realised how much I like meeting new people and learning new skills. I knew I wanted to step out and do something different and everything seemed to add up to becoming a teacher,” he says.

Like many mature students thinking about a career in teaching, Josh realised he had plenty of life experiences to offer. As well as being a commercial photographer, he had worked for several years as a youth pastor in Welcome Bay and knew he wanted to get back to working with youth, to help make a difference.

“I like working with young people and I especially seem to gravitate to the kids who have issues going on in their lives. It’s incredibly rewarding when they suddenly understand something you’re teaching – you see the lights go on for them.”

When he graduates, Josh, 28, hopes to stay in Tauranga to teach art to students in years 7-13, with a focus on photography for year 12 and 13 students.

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