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Following in the footsteps of her mother is special for EIT | Te Pūkenga student

August 25, 2023

Piper Berryman (right) is following in the footsteps of her mother Anna (left) by doing Bachelor of Teaching Primary at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

EIT | Te Pūkenga Bachelor of Teaching Primary ākonga Piper Berryman always wanted to be a teacher, but it’s made more special because she is following the footsteps of her mother who was an original student in the programme at EIT.

Piper Berryman, 20, who went to Taradale High School, says she is proud to be following in her mother Anna Berryman’s footsteps in doing the degree.

“My mum was a part of the first group that went through the degree in 2013, and she actually ended up being a face for the EIT teaching degree, which included being interviewed and being on posters around EIT. Her whānau, friends and colleagues joked that she was the poster girl,” Piper proudly says.

“I think it is special that I am the second generation to go through this degree, having the same passions as mum and accomplishing the same goals in earning a Bachelor in Primary Teaching through EIT.”

Her mother Anna is a teacher at Peterhead – Te Whai Hiringa in Flaxmere, which is a partnership school with EIT | Te Pūkenga. Anna says “it is special to have another teacher in the family to share the same passion as me”.

“When I first started my degree Piper was in her first year of Intermediate. Throughout the three years of my journey Piper got to know the people I studied with. The cool thing is she has been in their classrooms now while she has been on her journey and next year maybe become one of their colleagues.”

“Every parents dream is for their children to be happy with whatever they choose in life. My husband and I are extremely proud of Piper and all of her amazing achievements.”

For Piper, being a teacher is all she ever wanted to be thanks to the influence and guidance of her mother.

“I’ve grown up loving kids. I love babysitting, and I’ve always been the mother hen with my younger family friends. And when I was at primary, mum was a teacher aide and she’s always been associated with the schools that my brother and I have been at, either with board of trustees or just school events.”

“It wasn’t a hard decision for me to go down the teaching path once I left school. I have grown up seeing the passion for teaching through my mum and the impact she’s had on her students That’s my goal as well.”

When Piper left Taradale High School, she received a year 13 Scholarship from EIT|Te Pūkenga and immediately enrolled in the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary).

Piper says, “one of the aspects of the programme that she really enjoys is that it is not all theory, but there is a practical component as well. Being on practicum and having two days a week in school base learning (partnership schools) is the most valuable part of the degree. This is where you get to be hands on, learning from other teachers and having your own learning experiences.”

The programme sees the EIT | Te Pūkenga candidate teachers spend time at partnership schools for each of the three years of the degree. Piper over her time doing the degree has been placed at Irongate School , Bledisloe School, Porritt, St Patrick’s and now for her final practicum at Nelson Park.

Piper and her classmates have also had to deal with the disruption of COVID-19 and then Cyclone Gabrielle this year. She says that while initially they were not able to go to the EIT|Te Pūkenga campus for in person learning, the cohort is now using a classroom at Taradale Intermediate for lectures.

In addition to finishing the last year of her degree, Piper is working at the Tamatea Pak ‘n Save where she has been for the past five years.

But it is teaching where her heart lies and she has no hesitation in recommending the Bachelor of Teaching Primary at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

Kirsty Jones, a Lecturer in Primary Education at EIT | Te Pūkenga,  says: “One of the key goals of the Bachelor of Teaching Primary at EIT | Te Pūkenga is to provide the community with a contextually relevant, localised teacher training programme that grows great teachers in the bay.”

“Over the past 10 years there has been a strong focus on building authentic partnerships between schools and EIT | Te Pūkenga as a platform for a career in teaching. The team are extremely proud of the locally focussed programme that has proven sustainability and achieved special outcomes like the story of Anna and Piper.”