After spending the best part of his youth in various labouring jobs, Gisborne man Brian Walters decided it was time to do something more fulfilling.
“When I turned 28 I realised I wanted to improve myself and get qualified.”
That idea had started with the birth of his children. He wanted to set a better example and do something that would support their learning and help them get in a better position than he was in.
He decided to go the whole way and take the challenge of studying. He really enjoyed working with children and that’s why he enrolled at EIT to study for a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary).
At first everything was hard for him to grasp but with the support of his lecturers and classmates, he soon began to realise how much he loved learning. “Once you get onto that roller coaster, it’s an amazing journey,”he said.
“The lecturers are absolutely wonderful – they do whatever they can to support us and because the classes are relatively small they know our circumstances.”
He is enjoying learning so much he decided to broaden it by enrolling in a tikanga Māori course one evening per week to learn te reo Māori. ”It’s really cool to learn wonderful words with so many meanings – it’s a much more expressive language.”
But studying with a family has been challenging and Brian is deeply grateful for the support of his wife Monique. “She has been amazing,” he said. “We could not afford to live in our own house so we moved in with my in-laws while I am studying. We’ve lost our privacy but I have only one chance to do this.”
Now in his final year, Brian is looking forward to being back in the workforce with more regular hours. He studies at night after the children, now seven and five, are in bed because he wants to spend time with them and needs to focus intensely while studying.
One thing he really appreciates about studying the programme with EIT is the generous amount of school-based learning involved.
“We have two days a week in the classroom and three days at EIT.”
By the time he finishes this year he will have spent time in five different primary schools.