By Mick Jensen
Departing Ashburton Intermediate School teacher Tim Gleason is steering his career path in a new, adventurous direction and has international postings on the horizon.
The 34-year-old will finish up at the school after eight years and will become a management trainee with tourism operator Skyline Enterprises, best known for its gondola and luge operations in Queenstown and Rotorua.
Mr Gleason worked for the same company as a luge operator at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada in a gap year from teaching in 2011.
“I was a general dogsbody back then, offering instruction and doing some maintenance.
“I really enjoyed that overseas experience and brought back the grasp of the French I learnt and introduced it to the classroom.”
Mr Gleason said his luge work had given him valuable life experience skills and confirmed, for him, the importance of gap years for some people.
He returned home, having missed the damaging Christchurch earthquake, and returned to a job at Intermediate to continue a career in education that very much ran in the family.
“Dad worked in education for 45 plus years, including at Ashburton College for a long time, and mum got into speech and language therapy in the late 1990’s – so it’s in my blood I suppose.”
His experience of working in the education sector had generally been very positive.
“It’s a very well supported profession and it has been a really tough decision to get out.
“Teaching is a very ‘hard job’, mentally taxing and very challenging at times, but the rewards can be high.”
The former Ashburton College pupil said his teaching style was “old school” in many ways.
He liked to interact and have discussions with students in the classroom, but also understood the importance of embracing technology, even though technology, in itself, was “no magic silver bullet” to success.
His decision to move on was a career choice, which had a defined pathway.
“I am excited to be taking on a new challenge and of the prospect of living and working overseas in a professional role.”
Tim Gleason will spend six months with his new company at its operation in Rotorua from May and will then head down to Queenstown.
After his business management immersion has been completed, he could find himself working for the progressive Kiwi company in Canada, South Korea or Singapore.