What the student-teacher saw ...

Thursday 10th September 2020

Over the last few weeks, we've had four students from the University of Otago Master of Teaching Programme in the college. We asked them to tell us how they found the place.

Left to right: Daniel Smart, Alisa Wynne. Melissa Campny, Natasha Smillie
Left to right: Daniel Smart, Alisa Wynne. Melissa Campny, Natasha Smillie

Tash Smillie

My time so far at John McGlashan College as a student teacher has been phenomenal. I’ve been lucky enough to teach in a range of classes – from Year 9 up to Year 12, across Social Studies, English and History. I’ve loved getting to teach and learn from the boys. What an excellent bunch of students.

The staff collegiality has been really nice to experience. Our peers from Teachers College had primed us for the morning teas and they do not disappoint. The two Professional Development sessions I attended have been valuable, enjoyable, and most importantly actionable. Both sessions – the first on preparing students for external exams, the second on Design thinking for learning – have left me with ideas to mull over and real strategies to implement.

Being a student teacher this year has been a real roller coaster, and beginning this placement under Level 2 Covid alert conditions has been challenging, but fascinating to see how the school has responded. I can see how the message of “be kind” has been incorporated into the school’s practice, particularly in pastoral care. I feel very fortunate to have been placed here!

Alisa Wynne

My time at John McGlashan has been an experience that I will continue to take with me as I leave this amazing school. I have had the privilege of teaching classes across my curriculum areas of Physical Education, Science and Biology and the boys did not disappoint. They are truly well-rounded young men that continue to receive quality education each day. I think that the aspect of this placement that was most impressive was the learning culture of McGlashan and how the boys absorbed all opportunities to engage with the learning. Their enthusiasm for the school and each other, coupled with the relationships that the staff have with each young man created a uniquely supportive workplace. It makes interactions with the boys easy and allows me to focus on my professional development as a student teacher. I am ever so grateful for my time here and the value it has contributed to my holistic progress.

Daniel Smart

My time at John McGlashan has been a fantastic experience and one that I will cherish and look back on fondly as I move forward in my career. From the very first day, my fellow student teachers and I were kindly welcomed into the school community and instantly made to feel like we were really a part of the school. My mentor teachers, the science department, and the wider staff have always been willingly to share their knowledge with me, and nothing has ever been a problem, which is a testament to their high professional standards and capabilities. The students have been fantastic, welcoming me into their classes and having the opportunity to get to know the students has been something I have really enjoyed. I am very pleased that I got the opportunity to do my professional experience at John McGlashan and I firmly believe that the skills I have gained during this time and the opportunities the school has provided me will stand me in good stead for my future. 

Melissa Campny

My experience at John McGlashan College has been an amazing learning opportunity and I have been fortunate enough to have the mentorship of teachers who have vast knowledge and experience. As a new teacher, I have been immensely grateful for the room I have been given to learn and grow my skills as I navigate my budding teaching career. The students at John McGlashan are profoundly respectful, hardworking young men and I am constantly blown away by the level of knowledge and discussion I have witnessed in my classes. I know that my fellow teachers will all agree that the kindness and hospitality we have been shown at John McGlashan College has been astounding, and we will cherish our experience here as we move into the teaching profession.