Sue Caswell Scholarship winner - Amy Davis

A passion for education and her first-hand understanding of children labelled as “problems” are behind the success of scholarship winner Amy Davis.

Amy Davis

A passion for education and her first-hand understanding of children labelled as “problems” are behind the success of Sue Caswell Scholarship winner Amy Davis.

When Amy Davis was at school in the 1980s, she was regarded as “naughty” and told by teachers she’d never amount to anything. There was very little known about ADHD in those days, and children with the condition were punished by teachers for “bad” behaviour.

This negative experience of school has inspired Amy to train to become a teacher. “I didn’t want other kids to have those experiences. That was my biggest reason behind my passion to become a teacher. I’m not in it for the money. I want to get in there and make a difference.”

As a result of a bad start at school, Amy was stuck in a string of minimum wage jobs for years. Eventually she and her husband decided that for the family to move forward they had to make sacrifices so she could follow her passion for teaching.  

She is now in her third year of studying a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) on the University of Auckland’s Manukau programme where she’s consistently maintained high grades.

“It was a big call to make. It’s involved enormous sacrifices, for me, my nine-year-old daughter and husband.” It’s cut down on the amount of family time they’ve had, and Amy’s husband has had to work seven days a week to cover the bills.  

Children
are literally our future. If no one cares enough to become a teacher, what’s
going to happen to our future?  

Amy Davis

Winning the scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off the family “and given us a bit more freedom and removed the worry each week of whether we have enough money to pay the bills”.

The main aim of the Sue Caswell Scholarship is to support a female student, returning to study from work or parenthood who aspires to a career in teaching. It is open to students in any year of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) or a Graduate Diploma in Teaching.

Despite the hard work and sacrifice, Amy is glad she chose teaching. She really believes teachers can make a difference. “Children are literally our future. If no one cares enough to become a teacher, what’s going to happen to our future?

“If you want to make a difference, rather than sitting back and complaining, I would recommend training to be a teacher.”

Amy also advises other students to apply for scholarships. “Many people think scholarships are only for the highest-achieving students, but there are lots of scholarships for different types of students. You’ve got to put yourself out there to have a chance. Don’t admit defeat before you’ve started.”

Amy already has a job lined up when she finishes in November. She’ll be teaching at Howick Intermediate. “I’m very, very excited and nervous!”