Miriama McLean Bell
Ohakune Primary School
Te Ati Haunui-A-Paparangi
- Bachelor of Teaching, Primary
It took hard work and perseverance, but it has all been worth it for Ohakune Primary School teacher, Miriama McLean-Bell.
Successfully overcoming odds against her, Miriama completed her entire Bachelor of Teaching degree as an online student based in the small town of Ohakune.
Now Miriama is working full-time as a teacher at Ohakune Primary School, one of the schools she did her practicums at.
Studying online was the only way Miriama could have completed her degree.
“There was no way I would have been able to uplift my family and move towns for me to study. I was very fortunate that Waikato University offered a teaching degree online. It is something that I think Waikato should be very proud of.”
Miriama’s study journey wasn’t always easy. She faced a number of challenges, including working full time to support her family, a pregnancy loss and loss of her mother, followed by the birth of her daughter who ended up in Wellington NICU after arriving 13 weeks early. These all added an extra layer of stress and pressure to Miriama and her studies.
“I tried to stay on track with my study, I was so focused on not failing. Every day was a challenge but I got my Uni mahi done”.
Miriama eventually able to focus on her studies full time while her very supportive husband was the stay-at-home dad. Miriama feels she owes a lot to her husband for the sacrifices she made while she studied.
“He was the main parent and it would not have been possible if my husband didn’t want to be the stay-at-home dad,” says Miriama.
Reflecting upon her study journey now, Miriama is so glad she persevered and gave her study everything she had.
“No matter what life throws at you, just know that deep down in your soul you can get through it. I am living proof of that, as I overcame every obstacle that was thrown at me during my study years.
“I want women, ladies, girls, and our Māori people to believe in themselves. For them to know that they can do this too, that anything is possible, they just have to set goals and believe in themselves and then you are halfway there” says Miriama.