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News > Collegians > Teachers influencing teachers

Teachers influencing teachers

Elizabeth Lawrence (Hamilton | Harington 2009-2010) wasn’t sure of her intentions beyond St Paul’s Collegiate School until she was in her Year 13 physical education class with Mr Peter Gilbert.
27 Mar 2024
Collegians
Liz Lawrence in the classroom
Liz Lawrence in the classroom

As part of the St Paul's school's curriculum, Liz and her peers visited Fairfield Intermediate where they taught short physical education classes to the students. It was during these lessons that Mr Gilbert noted how well Liz engaged with the children and encouraged her to consider a career in teaching. She recalls how impactful this conversation was, and from there, she began the enrolment for her teaching degree.

“I think we, as teachers, underestimate how influential these informal chats with students can be. Although I knew I wanted to work in an industry where I helped people, I wasn’t sure in what capacity,” says Liz.

Another influential person during her secondary school years was the late Margaret Forsyth. Liz describes her as a woman who went above and beyond in her role as a netball coach but was also a mentor. 

“Marg was a role model for me and I can honestly say that her coaching went beyond the game of netball. She had so much mana, integrity and expertise while being so caring, dedicated and supportive of us as players and young women. The team did so well over those two years and Marg was instrumental in leading our success.”

In 2014, Liz completed a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) from the University of Canterbury. She gained her full registration in 2016 and spent the following four years teaching at Mount Eden Normal Primary School and Endeavour School in Hamilton. Liz then decided to head overseas and worked as a relief teacher for two years in London. On her return to New Zealand, Liz spent four months teaching at Peppercorns Home School - a small coastal village in Cambodia - where Liz was given a major reality check.

“The resources at this school were so limited, it definitely made me feel grateful for what we have here in New Zealand. I met lots of teachers from Europe, Australia and England throughout this experience and it really gave me a whole new perspective on education.”

Liz takes her job seriously and always strives to be innovative in her profession. She believes it’s imperative to remain relevant by continuously improving and enhancing her practice to suit the ever-changing students and society.

Liz is currently Head of Year 7 at St Peter’s School where she leads a team of four teachers across 96 students. In between her busy teaching schedule, Liz also runs a small business, Kingsbury Cottage, a rural homestay lodge in Ruawaro. 

 

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