Social scientist goes full circle


New social sciences teacher Amanda Walker is no stranger to Nayland College. This year she returns to us after once being a student here.

Mrs Walker is pleased to be at the college in a new capacity.  “It’s a pleasure to be back at the same school that inspired me to teach one day. I think it’s a real credit to the school, I mean I think there are quite a few other teachers I’ve met who’ve been my teachers and others who’ve come back to teach, so I think that’s just a nice testament to the college that people want to come back and stay on.”

Mrs Walker began her teaching career as an English teacher at Buller High School on the West Coast. She and her husband enjoyed the rugged environment there.

“We’d just take our surfboards and boogie boards out and the waves would just carry us along and it was such a nice thing after a busy day’s work ,just to get out in the ocean and go to sleep with the sound of the ocean. I do miss that about Westport, definitely. Being close to the sea and the wildness of it.”

Following that she taught at Waimea College and that’s where she began to teach social sciences. This year she is teaching social studies at Years 9 and 10 and history from Years 11-13.

One of her favourite parts of teaching history is learning new things from her students’ independent research assignments. “You get to see what kids are interested in and you get to learn about 30 new history events every year and it’s such an awesome experience to (…) get introduced to things I’ve never heard of but they’ve heard about from their family heritage.”

Mrs Walker and her husband have also spent time over the last years doing volunteer construction work in South Auckland, Fielding, Blenheim and in Niue. They will be going back to Niue for another stint later this year.

When she’s not working, Mrs Walker enjoys getting out for a run and she commonly runs 10km. At the moment she’s training for the upcoming Blenheim half marathon, so she’s about to increase her training distance.

It’s no surprise that Amanda Walker enjoys reading and watching films. She lists ‘The Darkest Hour’ and ‘Green Book’ as two recently-watched films she’d recommend. An avid historical fiction reader, she’s now made it a goal to read more non-fiction as well.

“You kind of think ‘a story needs to be told about it’ but when you pick up these non-fiction books you think ‘this story’s already there’, it’s just about how it’s presented by the writer.”

Mrs Walker’s current non-fiction picks are:

Tudor – The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle

‘Norman Conquest’ by Marc Morris

By Sera King – Media and Publicity