New graduate teacher Rohini Lal joins the profession with many years of classroom teaching behind her – as a teacher in Fiji, and as a teacher aide and after school programme assistant here in New Zealand.

With her University of Auckland Bachelor of Education (Teaching) completed and awarded at the Faculty of Education and Social Work September graduation ceremony, Rohini is now a fully qualified teacher.

She is planning to teach full time next year and, until then, is working as a day reliever, teaching primary and intermediate students in schools around Auckland.

Rohini is delighted to now be qualified for her chosen profession in New Zealand where she has lived for the past 10 years. She had a teaching qualification from Fiji but delayed upgrading it to meet New Zealand registration requirements until her children were older. During this time, she continued to work in schools to keep in touch with the education environment.

“I love working with students and see them growing intellectually so I was determined to become a fully-qualified teacher in New Zealand,” she says. “I am really looking forward to having my own classroom where I can create an environment conducive to learning, where students feel safe and comfortable to learn.”

Although work and family commitments meant it was a big decision to go back into full time education, Rohini had the bonus of studying alongside her son Ronish who was at the University of Auckland at the same time, studying for a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical).

“It was so motivating to study at the same time,” says Rohini. “We helped each other by reading assignments and even had competitions to get the best grades – although I was more concerned about Ronish getting better grades as it was his first university degree and I wanted him to excel!”

With self-motivation, hard work and the support of her family, Rohini managed to pass all her papers while balancing her studies with home commitments and a part time job at an after-school programme.

“Nothing is impossible provided you are determined to achieve your goals with effective time management and organisation,” she says. “Mature student have a lot to offer. You have so much more knowledge and study becomes a lot easier as it connects to what you already know. If you have a family, you gain an understanding from seeing how your own children learn and work towards their goals.”

And she has a strong message for those considering a move into teaching:

“Teaching is a great career because every day is a new day as new learning takes place and you are playing a role seeing our future generations succeed and become lifelong learners.”

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