Doing good better - a few words with Monty Jones (Cohort 2015)

Voices - 10 August 2016

Two years ago Monty Jones stepped away from his corporate career to work as a Teach First NZ participant. Here he shares a few words about what evoked this change of path and why he calls this shift his "best life defining decision to date."

An inspiring quote from Steve Jobs reads, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do".

In search of a real-life example, we talked to 2015 Participant Monty Jones (Tamaki College, Mathematics) about loving what he does and why he changed from corporate to classroom.

What made you want to change career from a corporate career to work as a Teach First NZ participant?

I decided to change from a graduate programme with a multinational corporation after stumbling across my original application letter to university. In this letter I wrote that I was not sure what job I wanted to have, but that I wanted to get up each morning and know that I was making a positive difference. Teach First NZ provides an unparalleled pathway to do this.

What would you say to those who say teaching is not a rewarding career path?

Teaching is the first vocation that I have been proud to tell people about when they ask "So, what do you do?". This is because teaching in schools supporting low decile communities is such a challenging, rewarding and unique experience. I have become immersed in a community that does not have a high median income, but is rich in culture, talent and passion. I am inspired by the youth that I deal with on a daily basis and whatever I go on to do in life, I will take this experience with me.

What has been the most rewarding thing about your career change?

- Having a job that I want to get out of bed for and that I know I am doing the best I can to improve educational outcomes for our tamariki.

- Getting the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular activities at school. (For example, I have just arrived back from a day kayaking from Okahu Bay and have helped a student overcome their fear of water.)

What would you say to those who are thinking about joining the program?​

It was a very hard call to leave my old job, but joining Teach First NZ is an amazing opportunity and it has been my best life defining decision to date.


Think a change of career could be something for you too?

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