Being a teacher is a privileged position, former deputy principal of The Terrace School Mick Enright says.
After 28 years at the school, Mr Enright said he was grateful to all the pupils, who had been a source of inspiration for him as he moved to a new career in real estate.
When he first left school he worked in a government department in Invercargill for a few years, then he went to teachers college.
“There was a teacher down the road when I was young and I thought he was a good bloke and I liked what he did, probably because he was a good person.”
His teaching career began at Ruahine School, in Dannevirke.
An early mentor was Fran Manahi.
“I caught up with her two years ago after not seeing her for many, many years”.
“She was my mentor and she was just fantastic.”
In the early 1990s he and his wife Karen moved to Alexandra, where they both worked as teachers at Alexandra Primary School.
Mr Enright taught at St Gerard’s School and at Dunstan High School before landing the job as deputy principal at The Terrace School.
He joked he thought he was the only one to apply for the job; “that’s why I got it”.
But he must have done something right because The Terrace School became his workplace for the next 28 years.
He had great faith in the intelligence of young people but was concerned about some of the challenges they faced, including social media and “clickbait”.
“You have to got work out [whether] what you are reading online from various sources is actually true.”
Some might take what they read online at face value, thinking “if it is on Facebook it must be true”.
He encouraged young people to question how they knew it was true.
Previously, sources of knowledge pupils might access, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, would be the result of years of research and fact-checking.
“It was cross-referenced, it was peer reviewed, all those things to make sure what you got was actually the truth, but with Wikipedia anyone can change it.
like philosophy at school is really good because it makes people think.”
He was grateful for his wife Karen, as well as colleagues at The Terrace School, “who do a fantastic job”.
He was also passionate about his time coaching rugby junior teams and at the high school.
The pupils were a key reason he enjoyed teaching for so long.
“I tell the kids being a teacher is a privileged position, because we get to see the future.
“And to me, all the time I have been teaching, the future looks rosy.”