As we approach Graduation 2013 on April 13th, we look at life after BTI. This first interview highlights Edward (Ed) Nikora who graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) from BTI in 2009. His heart and life are a shining example of the values that BTI holds dear, and it was with great pleasure that we invited Ed as a guest speaker at our 2011 Graduation Ceremony. His address was inspirational! Kathryn Overall caught up with Ed on graduation day to find out more about his story.
Ed has a sense of purpose about everything that he does. A passion for the Kingdom of God is strongly evident in everything he puts his hand to, and his vocation as a teacher is a wonderfully integrated extension of this passion. As well as being a catalyst for personal development, Ed’s teaching journey has opened doors into unexpected opportunities.
Originally coming from a performing arts background, Ed wasn’t content to just keep his gifts and skills to himself. Ed says “I had this real passion and desire to be able to share what it was that I knew, and to try and get students as enthused as I am about the subjects that I love and teach.”
In 2009, Ed completed the secondary teacher training programme at BTI. He appreciated the approach taken by his lecturers. “In that campus, and through the influence of my natural and spiritual family, I was able to learn how to best outwork my Christianity in any schooling system” explains Ed, “I could be at a public school that has little or no belief in Christ and still be Christ in that school and they taught me how to
do that all without having to wear my‘I love Jesus’ bumper sticker on my front. They helped me to be Christ in the best possible way that I can for my students.”
Ed is convinced that the key to truly influencing and inspiring people is through relationship and he loves the lasting connections that he has with students.“One of the key things about teaching is that it’s never just about what you know,” he explains. “There’s so much in the relationship building that takes place between the teacher and student that is just pure and utter gold. I love the fact that students from two years ago will call out to me, because there was something about the way we related to one another that has inspired them.”
No stranger to change or challenge, Ed spent a year teaching English at a decile ten school after graduating, before changing direction completely and going to teach in a decile one school. Despite the huge contrast in teaching environment, Ed comments, “The challenges were the same. Young people are the same regardless of how wealthy or not they are. What I found is that young people desire relationship, like most of us, so that was my bridge for working with these types of young people.”
These experiences have culminated in Ed working as a trainer for the Ministry of Social Development. In this role he works with and trains staff who work with youth offenders and abused children, helping them to understand the thinking of the youth they are seeking to help.
Currently working at a regional level, long-term Ed has his eyes set on a national level, desiring to positively influence the key decision makers. “I feel that if we can tap into the thinking of the people at the higher levels, then that will filter down,” says Ed.
Go Ed! We champion you from the and believe for God’s favour and grace to be with you in all of your efforts.