Deborah Cole

Bachelor of Teaching - Primary

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Teaching - Primary

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

I loved English the most. I had a few great English teachers who supported me and encouraged me to pursue writing and to fall in love with reading. I loved going to English class and finding the deeper meaning to the novels we read.

How did this subject help you with your study?

I think English helped me with studying because you need good communication skills as a teacher. I know how to write up a lesson plan, write meaningful reflections, and of course teach my students English with passion and enthusiasm.

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

I am currently on my final practicum, so I am in a year one class. New entrants are a joy to teach - though by the end of the day I am often covered in paint and glitter. I am enjoying learning from other teachers, and I am excited to have my own class next year.

What do you love about your job?

I love the tiny victories you get to see in a new entrants classroom. I love it when the children finally learn and remember something you have been working so hard for.

How do you think you can make a difference through your work?

I think I can make a difference by being a positive role model and being someone the children in my class can rely on. I am learning that small words of encouragement and a genuine interest in the child's life can have a huge impact on their day. I want them to grow up to be people who are kind and who love to learn, and I try to model this to them daily.

What made you want to get into teaching?

I've wanted to be a teacher since I first started school - I used to line up all my teddies and call the roll. I loved my teachers at school and I wanted to be just like them. When I reached high school I found that I loved being with children and watching them enjoy life and discover new things. There wasn't really any other option - I just knew I wanted to teach.

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

I chose the University of Waikato because I knew a few people who had studied teaching there and had raved about the programme. It's close to my home town - Tauranga - but far enough away for me to start life as an independent adult. I have family here in Hamilton who have been so supportive of me.

What were the highlights of your time with us?

I value the genuine care our lecturers gave us, the friends I've made through our small tutorial classes, and the experience I gained from being in a school from the very first week of study.

What area of teaching did you go into and why?

I chose primary teaching because I love working with young children. High schoolers always seemed a bit scary to teach. I love being creative and being a little bit like a child myself sometimes, so really it's the perfect spot for me.

What advice would you give anyone considering teaching or education? Or going into university study?

I would say don't study if you don't know if it's what you really want to do. Spend your time finding out what makes you feel happy and alive before earning a degree that you aren't that excited about. For those of you considering teaching, it's a wonderful degree. It's exhausting but rewarding. We need more teachers who are passionate.

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

They taught me a lot about who I want to be as a teacher. I am thankful for my experience here, and I am so lucky to have studied with such incredible people.

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