Desire for meaningful career leads to teaching

Press Release – University of Auckland

Desire for meaningful career leads to teaching

It took the wisdom of an Italian woman to make Holly Hopcroft decide the time was right to become a teacher.

She graduated with a Masters of Teaching with first class honours from the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland’s Spring Graduation ceremony yesterday.

Holly initially completed a BA in sociology and anthropology at the University before travelling to Europe with her sister and driving across the continent living in a van.

Believing she was ready for the ‘real world’, she returned to New Zealand and started work as a writer on a women’s magazine.

Yet a couple of years later she quit her job and headed back to Europe. She found herself picking olives in the small village of Salento in southern Italy. The olive grove had been inherited by an Italian woman who held yoga retreats.

“One night over a casual dinner in her kitchen she leaned over with huge conviction, like only an Italian can, and said ‘never let anything hold you back from something that really matters to you’.”

So she decided to become a teacher, a career she finally felt ready for after thinking about it for years. After finishing her degree in June she has had her first term teaching Year 2 children at Campbells Bay School.

“I had always thought about being a teacher but didn’t feel ready, as I felt like I needed some more life experience. I have lots of passionate teachers in my extended family; my godfather, aunt, my partner’s Mum, sister and brother-in-law, who have been real role models for me.”

“Having just finished my first term as a teacher to the 24 most hilarious, intelligent and capable six to seven- year-olds, I can say that teaching is exhausting beyond belief. And I can honestly say that I have never been happier.

“Education is transformational. So far it has transformed me.

“I can’t recommend teaching enough if you want a challenging, positive, future-focused career.”


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