Bachelor of Teaching (Teaching)
Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Embracing kiwi culture and learning te reo Māori is helping London-born Eve Petcher flourish in primary teaching.
Adding to the te reo Māori she learned during her degree at Waikato University, Eve is choosing to develop the language at a higher level. “I don’t need level three in te reo, but I enjoy it and I would like to incorporate it more and more into my teaching.” She believes it is important for children who attend school in New Zealand to learn the history and culture of the country.
Eve, 32, was chosen as student speaker for her graduation ceremony. She began the speech with her mihi (Māori introduction), encouraged both the teaching and law graduates to always be true to their education, values and themselves, and ended singing a waiata (Māori song).
Before starting her degree at Waikato, Eve embarked on a massive career change. After completing secondary school, she followed in her family’s footsteps and entered the film industry in England. Eve worked her way up to a production coordinator role, but began to get bored and the producer career no longer looked so appealing. After holidaying in New Zealand, she decided to move here and work in the film industry. During this time, Eve realised she was unsatisfied with her job and started looking for new opportunities.
Rejecting teaching at first, as Eve only thought of it in terms of secondary teaching. “It was my partner's (younger) nieces that made me think about this whole other area of teaching. It took me about three years of thinking and planning after seriously considering primary teaching as a career, before I started my degree.”
Eve wanted to make sure three years of study was not going to be wasted, so she researched a lot and visited schools. Eve worried that it may be a boring career, but now almost through her second term teaching a year two and three class, she says there is much variety and it is a lot of fun.
Eve says the Faculty of Education prepared her well and that the classroom practicum’s throughout her degree, were also a valuable part.
“What I learnt, I use constantly. It was amazing to be educated by people who are well known in their field, who have written reputable books. I really enjoyed my time at university and hope I will return to study at various points throughout my career to keep developing as a teacher.”