Taania Williams

Taania Williams

Form and Humanities Teacher, Manurewa Intermediate School
Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching)

Ngāti Porōu, Rongowhakaata, Rereahu, Tainui, Te Atiawa, Taranaki

For Taania Williams, a career as a teacher was always a strong possibility. After completing her Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) at the end of 2021, she has now achieved this goal.

“I remember that there had always been just two careers I wanted to pursue: one was to become an air hostess and travel the world, and the other was to become a teacher and inspire our future generation. I grew up with whānau members who were starting out as teachers when I was young, and once I had my children, I knew I wanted to be an awesome teacher that the children and their whānau would remember.

“With the support of my tamariki and whānau, I found the courage to put my dreams into reality, and achieved my goal to become the first in my family to gain a degree and be a positive role model for our future generations.”

Now working as a form and humanities teacher at Manurewa Intermediate, she loves teaching Year 7 and 8 students at the very school she once attended herself.

“What I enjoy the most about my mahi is being back at my old intermediate school and reconnecting with long-time work friends. I love being a part of my community to ensure that all our children can become confident, active citizens within their families and communities, and grow up knowing that they can succeed in anything that they do if they put in the hard mahi and work towards the treats on offer.”

The right university environment
Taania wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s Bachelor of Education to those dreaming of a career as a teacher.

“If you have a desire and passion to become a great future teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand, then I would 100% recommend studying a bachelor’s degree in teaching at AUT. They have locations across different areas of Auckland, and a variety of support to ensure that your time and study goes as smoothly as possible.

“For me, having a university close to my home in South Auckland was a huge advantage. I could make sure that I committed my time and efforts into successfully graduating, and being able to balance home and children with my studies. Being at the AUT South Campus made it that much easier for me to successfully pass and graduate.”

She had a number of highlights throughout her three years of AUT.

“My highlights were gaining some long-lasting friendships with other future teachers, the swimming pool and the Kaifé $3 breakfast meals at the South Campus, and AUTSA and the fun activities they ran. I’m also proud of becoming a nominee for student Māori affairs officer; an opportunity through which I met some wonderful and awesome candidates and supporters.”

Advice for other students
Taania’s advice for other students is simple: be yourself.

“Be willing to put yourself out there to create those long-lasting friendships and university memories. Friendships come in all different shapes and sizes, but your friends are also your number one support team and listening ears.”

There’s plenty of support if you need it, she adds.

“If times do get a bit tough at home – as they would for many of us – reach out to the student services team. Whaea Margaret and Esther, to name a few, are amazing and will support you throughout your studies. I’d like to give them huge praise because I wouldn't have gotten through half of my studies without the support of the student support team and my lecturers.”

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