Anthony Lander

Bachelor of Management Studies

Graduate Diploma of Teaching


Key Info

  • Bachelor of Management Studies
  • Graduate Diploma of Teaching
  • Secondary
New Zealand

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

History. Because I found it interesting learning about the past and taking lessons from it.

How did this subject help you with your study?

It helped me think critically, and since we had to write a lot of essays for this subject it developed my essay writing skills.

Tell us about what a typical day looks like for you now?

Typically classes and tutorials in the morning, followed by study and work on assignments in the afternoon. I try to make it to the Unirec gym a few times a week too.

What do you love about being in the classroom?

Building a relationship with students, giving them relevant and engaging examples of subject material and getting a sense of satisfaction when they learn something new or understand a new concept. Young people also challenge you and what you know. You have to make sure you are up to date with current events, teaching techniques and technologies which is great if you love learning.

What area of teaching did you go into and why?

Secondary. Because I could specialise in a subject I enjoyed.

What made you choose to study at the University of Waikato?

I had studied there previously and know that the faculty of Education at University of Waikato had an excellent reputation.

What advice would you give anyone considering teaching or education?

You have to be passionate about the profession. Even though it is rewarding, it is a lot of work and preparation, especially in the first few years starting out as a teacher.

What advice would you give anyone or going into university study?

Be prepared to work hard and take advantage of all opportunities offered to you.

Plan out your time wisely as it often involves juggling workloads to meet assignment and work due dates. Use the 2 week teaching breaks to catch up – even if it is tempting to have a holiday!

What some of the highlights of your time with us?

Getting to know a diverse range of people. Having fun while learning. Learning from lectures that have been helpful and provided advice. Having the practicum elements of the programme are a huge advantage in terms of building confidence and having some real life experience before getting a full time teaching job next year. The advice from the mentor teacher has been helpful in identifying areas that I needed to improve on.

Any advice for graduates getting into your sector?

Commit to the course and give it 100%. It really is an intensive study programme with a lot of content is crammed into it.

Maybe try and talk to some people that have done it to get their perspective and advice.

Get involved with the other people studying the same qualification. It is great to meet up and compare experiences and share ideas.

How did your time at Waikato make a difference to you?

It has reinforced to me that I do want to be a teacher through a combination of feedback from lecturers, good assignment marks and my mentor teacher telling me that he thinks I have what it takes to be a teacher.

Tell me about your family and how they have inspired you to go into teaching?

My dad is a principal at a secondary school and my mum is a teacher and careers advisor. I have grown up around education all my life so I know what to expect in some ways. However it is an ever evolving industry that is heavily involved in the media lately so I feel like it is a good time to train as a teacher.

What was your experience like going into teacher education as a non-school leaver or "mature" student? 

I originally thought there would be a lot more younger students in my classes but there are plenty of other teachers my age, or even much older than me. It hasn’t been an issue at all, infact I think there are benefits to studying teaching after spending time in the workforce and having a bit of life experience. It might mean I can draw on past experiences to connect theory with relatable examples.

What were the challenges you faced during your time with us? How did you overcome them?

Balancing study with family life is been an adjustment as I have a young daughter at home. Also not earning an income and becoming a student comes with challenges! Especially as I have been in the workforce for over 10 years, you get used to living a certain way. My family has been really supportive of me which has helped.

Tell us about your favourite teacher, what made them your favourite?

History teacher in high school. He treated his students like adults, taught interesting subjects and provided entertaining anecdotes. He was always open to having a discussion about current sports teams

What was it like going into a real classroom (as a student teacher) the first time?

Nerve-wracking as I thought the students would be comparing me to their current teacher and I wasn’t sure how I would handle the behavioural management side of teaching. However at the end of the teaching practicum I felt like I had learned a lot and gained valuable experience.

How did you adjust to going back into studying?

Initially I thought it would be quite difficult but got back into the groove pretty quickly. This time around I feel I am able to cope with it in a more mature way. It took a while to get used to Moodle but the online tools and methods of study have come a long way and are a lot more flexible than when I last studied.

Tell us about your career previously to going into teaching? Has this helped you?

I have been doing sales for the last 10 years in the industries of IT, Logistics and packaging. I never really thought of sales as a long-term career but it took me a long time to realise that teaching and helping youth was what I wanted to do.

To change careers is a huge decision. What made you decide to change?

I didn’t have good job satisfaction in my last career. I also think teaching will have a good work/life balance. No time is a good time to change. I think you just have to go for it!

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