A Canadian by birth, Mr Eskra meant to come to New Zealand for a year to study teaching. More than a decade later our Acting Deputy Principal and Head of Maths is a fully fledged Kiwi with nearly ten years under his belt here at ACG Senior College.
Where did you go to university?
I’m from Calgary, in Canada. At first I wanted to be an accountant and went to the University of Saskatchewan to do Commerce, but I didn’t enjoy most of it except Calculus, so I continued studying Mathematics ending up with a maths degree with a minor in sociology.
I was a student for five years and studied a strange mix of things – from perspectives on death and dying to gender in music and popular culture. I was the only guy in the women’s and gender studies classes. I just love learning.
What makes a good teacher?
Good teachers have genuine interest in their students’ success. They have a passion for their subject area, which shines through teaching. The best teachers are those who love working with young adults inside and outside the classroom, and who also have passions outside of their subject area.
What are you most proud of in your career?
There is a lot I am proud of in my career, but I think bringing the World Challenge program to ACG and running it successfully for six years at ACG Senior College is one of my top highlights.
Tell us more!
World Challenge is a student-led event challenge where students embark on expeditions around the world. I introduced it at ACG when it was just beginning in New Zealand. I’ve now taken students to Madagascar and Kenya; Tanzania; Chile and Ecuador.
At the start it was an interesting proposition to get past management – “I’d like to take 11 students to South America, but we don’t have a plan or know where we’re staying”! By the final year we did it, 30 kids applied. All the ACG schools have gone on to get involved.
As a teacher at ACG Senior College, what are you most proud of?
Running the Student Leadership team for the last three years has been the most fun and produced many of my proudest moments in my nearly 10 years here. Watching each year’s group grow, develop and produce some incredible work has been one of the best things I have been a part of at the school.
How would people describe you?
Organised, sarcastic, Canadian.
What do you get involved in outside of work?
I am passionate about music and am actively involved in Auckland’s dance music scene and put a lot of time into community events such as Auckland Pride Festival.
Mr Eskra is currently Acting Deputy Principal, Head of Maths, College Timetabler and a Cambridge exams officer.