Rikihana Gurnick, 2014 Cohort (Chemistry)

Voices - 28 February 2014

Rikihana Gurnick describes her experience as a Teach First NZ participant in Tangaroa College.

On the morning of the 28th of January, I left home full of nerves and anticipation as I headed toward my new life of being a teacher at Tangaroa College. The week began with a teacher only day where I had the opportunity to meet my new colleagues and jump straight into the role that would become my life for the next two years. There was an overload of new information, lesson planning, meetings and everything else that can be expected on one’s first day in a new job. By the end of the week I had met my students, got to know them a little and begun lessons. From the get-go, I was welcomed into the school and the science department with open arms, receiving a bright bouquet of flowers at the end of my first week, and many pearls of wisdom from more experienced teachers. I was also welcomed by the students of Tangaroa, all friendly and eager to find out who the new teacher was.

I am now into my fifth week at Tangaroa College and I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. I have grown a lot in these weeks, continually learning from other teachers and alongside my students. It is such a pleasure to be teaching at Tangaroa College and I cannot find the words express my excitement for the years ahead. I have begun my career! And I am ready and willing for anything it has to bring at me. In the words of Tangaroa College students, "Come at me 2014!"

Rikihana graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) and is now teaching Chemistry at Tangaroa College.