By Mick Jensen
Former Ashburton College student Tom Kitchen has landed his first teaching job and is back on familiar ground.
The 23-year-old has returned to his alma mater as a social science teacher, just five years after completing his formal school studies.
In between, Tom has earned an impressive degree from Otago University that covered German, music, Asian and European studies, and has also completed a graduate diploma at teacher training college.
“I did a practical stint for seven weeks at Ashburton College in term two last year during my training and it was a little weird to come back at first.
“The layout is all very familiar to me, of course, and a number of the staff from my student days are still here, but there’s a new principal now,” he said.
Tom admits to nerves on his first day.
“I’m the one in charge now in the classroom, so there’s responsibility.”
Tom oversees a family form room of 25 Year 9 students.
He teaches two periods of German a week to Year 13 students, as well as social studies to Year 9 students and four periods of tourism to Year 12 students.
“I would love to teach German and maybe music one day, but for now I’m happy to start my journey on the teaching ladder.”
Tom was born in Germany and has a German mum. He moved to New Zealand when he was 11 months old.
He has been fluent in German from a young age and is also a talented singer.
While at Ashburton College, he was a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir.
Already he has been head-hunted by MSA Men’s Choir conductor Ange Cresswell, a fellow teacher at Ashburton College, and is looking forward to singing with the choir this year.