Showering kids with blue icing, getting hit with rocks and reliving Frozen over and over are all part of the job for primary school teacher Anna Roughton. Fortunately, the focus on “the person you bring to teaching” that was emphasised at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has thrown Anna into her biggest adventure yet.

Teaching was a natural progression for 22-year old Whangarei native Anna, who was tutoring students in Maths and English and relieving new entrants classes before training as a teacher. Anna is a practical person, and appreciated the many opportunities at BTI to learn in a practical setting. Classes were small and a real community sense grew, “including personalised learning and lots of cupcakes”.

She’s currently teaching Year 2 students and a typical day requires a lot of patience and a lot of coffee, but it’s definitely worth it. Anna says the thing she loves most about her job is “getting to challenge children to think, grow and develop as confident and creative leaders. Not a day goes by where they don’t bless my socks off with their care, humour and joy for the simple things in life!”

Anna is probably not going to stay teaching in South Auckland forever, though. She recently fulfilled a childhood dream of meeting the beautiful people and culture of Kenya and is always looking for a reason to go back, even if she doesn’t end up teaching there. Until then, she will continue to explore the world in her classroom.

Bethlehem Training Institute is a small establishment in Bethlehem, Tauranga offering qualifications in teaching, counselling and social work. For those interested in teaching, BTI offers Bachelors of Education in Early Childhood or Primary School Teaching, and the only part-time Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) in the country, which is taken after another Bachelors degree to qualify you to teach you at a secondary level.


Quickfire Questions:

I’m good at this because… I’m nosey and love to know about things. I can be a little bit of a bossy-boots. It’s such a cool challenge getting to encourage children to think deeper and question their own thinking, while at the same time encouraging them to grow and develop in what they are good at.
The hardest part of my job is…the hours aren’t necessarily set, which means they can sometimes creep into home time and get quite long. But the joys are way more than the work.
Skills I use in my daily work include… multi-tasking, laughter, coffee-drinking, and patience
You would love this job if you are…
able to cope with numerous stories about Elsa and Olaf; creative, caring, considerate; always wanting to learn, love new and exciting ideas/facts.
My work hours are…7:50-7:30.
The best thing about the course at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute was…. What I really appreciated about BTI was the emphasis not only upon the practicalities of teaching, but also the “person” that you bring to teaching. We were challenged to grow not only as teachers, but also as individuals. The genuine care of the staff for those they teach and small-scale size of the campus meant that classes were full of good things- including cupcakes and lots of personalised learning.Over the three years, we were given lots of opportunities to apply what we were learning in practical settings as well as huge amounts of practical advice. This has been of real help stepping into my own classroom for the first time.
The most important thing I learnt there was…That we work together. Everybody has a different piece of the puzzle, and to miss one out is to miss something good.
In five years I think I’ll…..Hopefully be gallivanting around the dusty streets of Africa with a bunch of new friends in tow.
The craziest thing that’s happened to me so far on the job was…The day we interpreted Chinese, sang Birthday karaoke in fast-time, saved a girl getting hit on the head with rocks and sticks, showered the kids with blue icing, and escaped a rogue basketball all before lunch.

For more information on BTI, head to their website.