Itinerant Teacher of Music
Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
He wanted to be the best teacher he could be for his students, says Talaiasi Lyndon ‘Ofamo‘oni who came to AUT to study a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching.
“I’ve been an itinerant teacher of music for several years and I came to a realisation in recent years that for a lot of my students, learning and playing their musical instrument is a very important part of their sense of belonging in school; an important part of both their student identity and their personal identity.
“I realised then that I needed to be as prepared as I can be to help them in their important journey to adulthood. I decided to study a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching to help me achieve this.”
After completing his graduate diploma at the end of 2021, he now enjoys sharing his love of music with even more students.
“As teacher, I love knowing that I can help young people feel proud of who they are, to feel purposeful and determined to reach for their goals, to know that they have a voice and a say in their future; a future that is literally theirs to make plans for. Since, graduating, I’ve added some new roles into my job, and am now working with more secondary schools and a wider variety of diverse students, environments and situations.”
A warm and welcoming environment
Deciding to come to AUT to gain his teaching qualification was easy for him.
“I had heard great things about the kind of teachers that were coming out of the AUT programme. They sounded like the kind of teacher I want to become, so AUT was the only programme I wanted to be in and apply for. I’m so thankful that I was accepted into the programme.
“The whole experience was a highlight for me. The facilities at the South Campus are great, and everyone was warm and welcoming. My classmates all got on and worked really well together. I think this was mostly due to the incredible staff running the programme. From the very first day, we were encouraged to interact and collaborate, which gave us a sense of community, an awareness of each other’s diverse voices and unique way of contributing to the group. This also happens to be valuable for us in observing ways to make a classroom environment work.”
The thought of going back to university after many years was a little scary, Talaiasi admits.
“I didn’t think I was going to be up for it again after so many years in the workplace, but I enjoyed it and realised that I actually missed studying. I think it helped that my classmates were such a tight-knit group, and I didn’t want to let them down by not keeping up with the programme.”
Talaiasi would highly recommend the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching to other students.
“I especially enjoyed how the programme takes you on a journey of the evolution of teaching from the past to now, and how history and social events affect how education is perceived and implemented. My studies made me aware of just how crucial education is for addressing issues in society. They also gave me a better sense of who I am and of my values, through constant reflections and critical analysis; something that has helped me become more confident as a person and in my ability as a teacher.”
He also appreciated the expert knowledge of the academic staff.
“Most, if not all, of my lecturers were former schoolteachers themselves. They shared inspiring stories with us, and gave us great insights into working with diverse colleagues and students, in all kinds of diverse environments and conditions. Their stories made me look back at my own story as a student and as a teacher.”