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A Day in the Life of a Reliever

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Moving to New Zealand has been difficult for me, especially when it comes to the work front. I had just finished my Masters in Education so I thought that it was wonderful that New Zealand needed teachers. Little did I know that it was only in certain areas and that it would be difficult for me—a foreign trained teacher—to compete with New Zealand trained teachers, despite the call for more teachers to work. I worked as an untrained child care worker for months before my credentials got accredited.


I’m sure that my story would be different if I lived somewhere in the city, but I live out in rural Northland where there isn’t even a paved walkway. What a big difference from the suburbs of Toronto! I finally caught a break when one of my friends talked to the deputy principal at my local school and I became a casual reliever for the school.

I was very happy that this has happened but it is no where near a stable position. The good thing is that I come home with some very interesting stories that I entertain my husband with.


Today was a good day. The students were willing to help me and I in turn gave them an easy time as well. The only problems were the missed lunch orders and cut fingers. I have had difficult days where children have stormed out of the classroom and tried to leave school or where children have attacked other children. But I have to admit, most of my stories are funny stories, especially with the younger students. I can still remember a child running toward me, just five years old, with a huge sticker on his forehead. I’ll be keeping a journal of sorts on my days as a reliever. It’s a difficult job, but it could be worse. I could be changing nappies.

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