Chris works as a primary school teacher in Auckland, and is in charge of the school’s health and PE department on top of his teaching role.

Teaching was not an obvious choice to Chris when he finished secondary school – in fact; he had enrolled to study economics. Then, charged with looking after seven and eight-year-old boys on summer camp in the United States during his OE, Chris learned he could relate easily with children.

“I enjoyed working with them and I found they listened and respected what I had to say.”

Once back in New Zealand, Chris worked to complete a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) at Otago University.

In his current role, Chris said there is a lot more to it than teaching alone. In his day to day work he also acts as a coach, mediator, and councillor, to name just a few responsibilities.

The creative side of this role is something that Chris is passionate about.

“I like to expose complex problems, theories and situations, and break them down using creative methods,” he said, which helps lead to that aforementioned “light bulb moment”.

Average pay

  • Primary school teachers with one to three years’ experience usually earn $37k–$45k per year.
  • Primary school teachers with four to seven years’ experience usually earn $55k–$71k per year.
  • (Source: Ministry of Education, ‘Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement’, 2012)


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