Oh my gosh, I really love it [teaching]. I am fortunate to be in the junior syndicate . . . they are six or seven [year olds] and they are learning for the first time. It is amazing to be part of their learning.
different. With female staff the ‘‘ motherly instinct’’ kicks in whereas males will encourage rough and tumble.
Teachers Sam McGavin organises playground rugby and the boys really enjoy that.
Dyer St is also fortunate to have a male teacher, Rob Arrowsmith, in its junior school.
His path into teaching was very different to most. Originally from England, he came to New Zealand eight years ago.
Working for the regional council looking after infrastructure such as bus stops and train stations, he had a lot of contact with young taggers.
When he realised that the most enjoyable part of his job was working with the taggers to change their behaviour, he thought about teaching. A visit to Dyer St proved life changing. ‘‘I walked in the door and this lovely boy came up and said ‘hello my name is Noah and I welcome you to the school’.’’
Arrowsmith resigned from the council and spent a year training before getting a job at Dyer St.
Teaching has proved to be a job he can immerse himself in.
‘‘Oh my gosh, I really love it. I am fortunate to be in the junior syndicate…they are six or seven [year olds] and they are learning for the first time. It is amazing to be part of their learning.’’
He is currently teaching an Anzac theme and he cites that as example of how rewarding teaching can be. To get the pupils engaged in the topic, he is using animals that served in World War I.
The lack of male teachers is often put down to males fearing accusations by pupils. Arrowsmith says he has never really though about that.
In 2013, just 16.5 per cent of New Zealand’s primary school teachers were men. Since 2004 there has been an 8.3 per cent drop in the proportion of male teachers working at primary school level.
David Arrowsmith is the only male teacher in the junior school at Dyer St School. It is a job he loves after previously working looking after infrastructure for the regional council.
Male teachers such as Dyer St School’s Rob Arrowsmith and David Turnbull, up the tree, often have a different approach to teaching than their female counterparts. With them are Jayden Plumb (St Bernard’s College pupil), teacher-aid Dennis Tua, Bradley MeEwan, Elijah Afoa (both St Bernard’s), Sam McGavin, Kandu Patel (teachers) and Sam Haley (St Bernard’s).