Art Teacher, Rangitoto College
Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
Being in the classroom is a thrill, says AUT education alumnus Paul Stevens who teaches photography, design and junior art at Rangitoto College in Mairangi Bay.
“Delivering content I’m passionate about and having the opportunity to help a class get excited about art is very fulfilling, as is the opportunity to work with young people as they develop into capable and thoughtful citizens.
“My role involves delivering a diverse curriculum across art, pastoral care and project-based learning in a modern open learning environment. I couldn’t imagine a better place to work.”
Becoming a teacher
With a background in photography and art history, Paul decided to become a secondary teacher to realise his passion for working in the community.
“I recognised a calling to teaching and wanted to play my part in getting young people interested in the arts. The Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching is the most established pathway to become a secondary teacher.”
He applies what he learned at AUT every day in his work, says Paul.
“I constantly use the skills I developed throughout the graduate diploma. Developing a personal pedagogy and being offered the opportunity to start my teaching practice right from day one on the course was absolutely instrumental in making me the teacher I am today. I didn’t become a teacher when I graduated but when I started the graduate diploma.”
A real-life approach
The workplace experience was the highlight of Paul’s studies.
“The teaching placements and practical experience were definitely the highlights for me, as was the ability to really connect with my peers. This is what attracted me to AUT in the first place – the real-life approach and the fact that the graduate diploma has more teaching placements and a smaller cohort than other programmes.”
Take every opportunity you’re offered at AUT, says Paul who completed his Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching in 2014.
“My advice would be to make the most of every opportunity and put your hand up as much as you can. Listen to a range of perspectives offered, even if you disagree, but be prepared to put a stake in the ground. Speak up and play your part.”