Patience pays for new kaiako

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New Information Technology Services kaiako Johan Ongchangco has a thing or two to teach his ākonga about goal setting, perseverance and patience. From his native Philippines Johan had a goal to live and work in New Zealand. A university lecturer, his route to New Zealand took him and his whānau to Saudi Arabia to save money to migrate before arriving in New Zealand in 2014.

Johan’s first role in New Zealand saw him put his information services skills to use in a practical way – installing fibre optic cables in houses in Taranaki.

“I was awed by the mountain, I’d literally landed in the land of milk and honey,” he says.

Johan describes the beauty of the New Zealand landscape as a postcard and quotes a line of poetry that talks about ‘raising the veil of familiarity’ with reference to pausing and looking to see the beauty of New Zealand with a childlike wonder.

Happy to be living in Taranaki, but wanting to resume his career in tertiary education Johan applied for teaching jobs and studied at WITT to get his foot in the door, network and connect.

“This is what hard work looks like,” he says.

That hard work paid off and Johan is now back doing what he loves. Johan is teaching classes on the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) and the New Zealand Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support (Level 5) programmes.

He’s enjoying being back in the classroom again and says one of his strengths is motivating ākonga from different backgrounds. He likes to find out what people need and how they communicate to bridge backgrounds and create a positive class culture.

Johan moved to New Zealand with his wife and two school-aged children and says he is still not complacent about the life he and his whānau have created in ‘picture perfect’ New Zealand.

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