Louise (Lou) Johnson
'I have established a range of connections in schools through coaching and internship experience...'
Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Education
Studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
Coach, CrossFit Waimakariri
Motivated by the teachers that helped her get where she is today, Lou has long planned on becoming a secondary school teacher.
‘I always had teachers in my schooling environment that I looked up to, due to the people they were, and the characteristics that they portrayed as people. This to me acts as the foundation of why I wish to become a teacher in order to have the opportunity to do the same; to be the role model for students of future generations to come,’ she says.
‘Throughout my life I have had many experiences working with people, and through these experiences I have discovered that I have a real passion for young people and enjoy working alongside them to help them discover who they are as a person. Hence why I wish to be a teacher, as it will allow me to continue to work with young people, to help them find their passion in life, and also to guide them on their path – into whatever sector that may be.’
Being a particularly active person steered her towards a career in Physical Education (PE) teaching, through the Health Sciences degree.
‘I really enjoyed the hands-on element to the Health Education degree. I took anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology papers to ensure that I received the content for PE. And finally, I decided to take some Statistics papers, to ensure that I had some that challenged me, and a teaching subject that would help with future employment.
‘So, the degree pathway that I established was good, and I was able to gain a range of essential skills through Health Education that are essential for teaching, which have set me up well for the upcoming placements. In these classes there was various opportunities for lesson planning and taking the class for a lesson that has proved invaluable.’
A final year internship with Attitude, an organisation providing health education in secondary schools, was the ‘challenge’ that helped solidify her career goals.
‘As far as I know they had never had an intern, so I was keen to change that! This was probably the highlight of my degree! They were such an awesome bunch of people and I learnt so many valuable skills in relation to te reo Māori and the growth of young people.’
The campus community itself also supported her goals through fitness and socialising.
‘I have taken part in the Social Sports Competition at Uni, playing basketball with a bunch of friends! It is always a great time; while it’s social, we are always in it to win it!
‘UC also offers good facilities to students such as medical and dental, and also the Rec Centre. Also, I enjoyed the connections I have made with the staff and students in my degree.’
Lou is now doing postgraduate Secondary teaching studies, to become qualified as a teacher.
‘My subjects are major PE and minor Health and Mathematics. This involves me going to lectures, some of which are practical and others more of a lecture setting and completing tasks such as lesson planning. Although I am super looking forward to the placements and getting the chance to actually get stuck in!’
She also gains extra experience through her work roles at The Sport Shop and with CrossFit Waimakariri.
For other aspiring teachers, Lou recommends her approach for making the most of the learning and practical opportunities in the degree.
‘I live my life by the motto “what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you”, and that is exactly the approach that I have taken to my studies. I wanted to put myself in the best position I could to land a job in the PE field when finishing up; so throughout my degree I have established a range of connections in schools through coaching and internship experience – it’s all about making a name for yourself.’