Faculty of Education and Social Work


Meet our students and graduates


Brosnon Siluuga – Primary teacher
Brosnon Siluuga – Primary teacher

Brosnon Siluuga – Primary teacher, Bachelor of Education (Teaching)  

“Growing up I never once thought about becoming a teacher. I always wanted to play professional sport or work in the interactive video game industry, but a series of events led me to give studying teaching a try.

“I enjoyed the hands on experience that I received at the Otara Campus. Not only did the programme open my eyes to many of the issues that surround education in New Zealand but it also fuelled the fire that is my passion for learning.

 “I am now teaching year 5 students at Papatoetoe East Primary School and I love it. I can’t wait to get to school and see my students to ask how they are and what they did in the weekend.

“I would especially recommend teaching to all the budding male teachers out there. I know there are quite a few guys out there who are reluctant to teach because of negative experiences at school or because of the stereotypes that surround male teachers.

“Ignore all of that, because at the end of the day, it could be you who is making a difference in the lives of others for a living.”

Brosnon Siluuga completed a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary Specialisation in 2016 and is now a teacher at Papatoetoe East Primary School. 

 

Mikayla Taiapo - Bachelor of Education (Primary), Foundation Certificate Education
Mikayla Taiapo - Bachelor of Education (Primary), Foundation Certificate Education

Mikayla Taiapo - Student, Bachelor of Education (Primary), Foundation Certificate Education

“I grew up in South Auckland and with this qualification I hope to be teaching in a school within this area. I would love the opportunity to give back to the communities that gave me so much growing up.”

“It took me years after I finished school to develop a love for learning, so naturally as an aspiring teacher my passion lies with empowering our future generations with a love for learning from a young age. I hope to achieve this by working in collaboration with
parents and students.

“I completed the Foundation Certificate Education with the University of Auckland at Manukau last year. By the end of the year I had built strong relationships with my lecturers and had found a sense of belonging. I was certain that I wanted to continue the learning
journey that I had started with the University of
Auckland.

“I like the availability of this programme being offered in Otara. Students like myself are lucky enough to be studying with the University
of Auckland within the diverse, friendly and inclusive environment of Manukau Institute of Technology. In a sense we have the best of both worlds.”

Mikayla Taiapo (Ngapuhi) is studying for a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary Specialisation. Mikayla completed the Foundation Certificate Education in 2015.

 

Jaleesa Hemi – Bachelor of Education Teaching (Primary) Foundation Certificate Education
Jaleesa Hemi – Bachelor of Education Teaching (Primary) Foundation Certificate Education

Jaleesa Hemi – Student, Bachelor of Education Teaching (Primary) Foundation Certificate Education

“It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to study. I had always enjoyed working with children and I was lucky to have lots of opportunities to teach youth classes at church, which helped me to decide that teaching would be something that I would love.

“I am a mum and when I chose this qualification I asked myself, ‘how can this help me teach my own children?’ I want my children to have a desire to study so that they can be successful. I am hoping that by becoming a primary school teacher I can be there to help them and be a part of their learning.

“I chose to study at the University of Auckland not only because of its renowned reputation, but also because of the availability of the degree here in Manukau. It has made education much more accessible for those who live and work in the area.

“Manukau Campus is unique to the rest of the University. Because we are based at the Manukau Institute of Technology, as students of the University of Auckland, we are fortunate to have access to the services of both organisations.

“Last year I completed the Foundation Certificate Education and I really enjoyed learning about child development. I loved how easily I could relate the different stages of development to my own children’s. I actually think that every parent can benefit from what is taught in this course and I only wish that I had studied it earlier.

“The campus has an awesome atmosphere. The students and faculty here are like a family. Everyone wants you to succeed so doors are always open for extra support and encouragement.”

Jelessa Hemi completed the Foundation Certificate Education and is now studying towards a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary specialisation.

 

Robert Tuli - Primary school teacher, Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
Robert Tuli - Primary school teacher, Bachelor of Education (Teaching)

Robert Tuli - Primary school teacher, Bachelor of Education (Teaching)

“I chose the University of Auckland at Manukau programme as it had a great reputation and it was close for me to travel.

“The aspect of studying I most enjoyed was the environment I was in. The Manukau campus is small, which makes it unique in the way that students are able to connect with lecturers and other students. This was really useful when I needed help with assignments or preparation for exams. Lecturers and staff at the campus were of great help and were easy to communicate
with.

“I liked the practical activities that the programme had to offer as it allowed us to put theory into practice and we could see what we had learnt in the lectures, in action. I also found the on-campus library really useful as it was a place I could go when I needed time to quietly study or reflect.

“Currently I am a beginning teacher at Baverstock Oaks Primary School. Completing the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary specialisation prepared me mentally and emotionally to scaffold young students in their learning.

“I have found my passion as a teacher in preparing students for cultural performing arts events. It gives me joy to create an exciting journey with learners in order to help them get to their desired destinations. I am proud when students achieve their goals. Knowing I have inspired them to get there is a great feeling.

“I am hoping my qualification will lead me to leadership roles within the profession, which will eventually open the door to my goal of becoming a primary school principal.”

Robert Tuli studied a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary specialisation, he is now a primary school teacher.

 

Vernitta Easton – Primary school teacher
Vernitta Easton – Primary school teacher and Master of Education graduate

Vernitta Easton – Primary school teacher, Master of Education

“Before I studied teaching I was working a shift job that was not fulfilling. I wanted to study to get a decent career. I was also working as a teacher aide at the time and the teacher I was working with encouraged me to become a teacher. I chose to study with the University of Auckland as it has the best reputation and it offered me the chance to study closer to my home.

“It also fit into my schedule of being a mum and caring for a school aged child. It was very flexible. The Manukau campus has a unique atmosphere, it is friendly and more like a family than you would think, you are known as a person not just a student. I was able to make friends and have valuable one on one time with lecturers. The support we were given was overwhelming and the lecturers were very approachable. While I was studying I applied for and won a summer study scholarship which enabled me to help Professor Christine Rubie-Davies with her research. This allowed me to meet prominent lecturers in the gifted and talented field. The opportunity also motivated me to go for my Master of Education.

“My supervisors in my honours and masters were the best in their field and the support they gave me was appreciated beyond words. Without them I would never have finished. I am currently working at Willowbank School. This is my second year and I am teaching Year 3 students.

“Some of the papers I did in my masters degree such as psychology in the classroom, have been particularly helpful. My degree also prepared me for the paperwork demands of being a teacher. I would love to study further to become TESSOL qualified. I also hope to secure a team leader position in the future and mentor other beginning teachers.”

Vernitta Easton completed the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary specialisation, Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Master of Education. 

 

Melini Fasavalu - Deputy Principal, Master of Educational Leadership
Melini Fasavalu - Deputy Principal, Master of Educational Leadership

Melini Fasavalu - Deputy Principal, Master of Educational Leadership

“My thesis looked at the educational success of nine Samoan high school graduates aged between 18 and 22. Although my supervisor was based at Epsom Campus I went to a postgraduate writing group at Manukau Campus.”

“The convenience to home was great but also the company. Completing a thesis can be a lonely journey because you have no classmates so building relationships with other postgraduate students at the writing group was really helpful in my study. We were able to give each other feedback on our respective study and share the pitfalls and triumphs inherent in studying.

“I am now the deputy principal of Wiri Central Primary School and I am working at using what I have learned through my research with my own staff so we can be more culturally responsive with the students and aiga at our school.

“I am also sharing the findings of the research with other teachers through conference and school presentations in the hope that it will inform the teaching practice of teachers with Pasifika students.”

Melini Fasavalu is a deputy principal at Wiri Central Primary School in South Auckland. She graduated with a Master of Educational Leadership in May 2015. Last year Melini was awarded the University of Auckland’s Fowlds Memorial Prize for the most distinguished masters thesis of 2015 in the Faculty of Education and Social Work.