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Meet PE teacher Liv Waldron

Helping young learners unlock their potential and achieve their very best, specialist PE and health teacher Liv Waldron not only encourages her students to participate in a wide range of sports and activities but helps them develop valuable life skills such as teamwork, resilience, respect, loyalty and perseverance.
Meet PE teacher Liv Waldron

After initially working in the sales and marketing industry, sports enthusiast Liv Waldron decided the time was right to move into a more inspiring and rewarding career. As a result, the Dunedin native completed post-graduate studies to become a teacher – and believes it is one of the best decisions she has ever made.

How long have you been teaching?
I am a new teacher. Strathallan is my first job, and what a great place to start! 

What attracted you to ACG Strathallan?
ACG provides a holistic view of education and really values each and every one of its students. I believe in putting the student at the centre of learning, and ACG Strathallan does just that. The staff are so welcoming and friendly, and the students are so willing to learn and make the most of the opportunities presented to them. The incredible setting is also pretty hard to beat!

What values are most important to you in a school?
Compassion – we all have wonderful skills and strengths, but if we’re not kind to each other, then they don’t really matter.
Diligence – school is a fantastic place to set routines and expectations for yourself, which will shape you into becoming the best future version of yourself.

Tell us a bit about life before ACG Strathallan.
I grew up in (and am very proud to be from) Dunedin. I gained a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago. I then made my way to the City of Sails to work as a product and sales coordinator for a sports brand. However, after realising I wanted more career fulfilment, I decided to pursue teaching, so I headed back to university to complete my Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary). It was the best decision – I love helping others and seeing the joy people get from moving their bodies and being active.

Currently, you teach junior PE and health (Years 8 to 10) and IGCSE physical education (Year 11). What do you enjoy most about it?
I truly believe physical education and health are a vital part of our lives, which makes me excited. Movement has the ability to positively impact us on so many levels, and I love being able to share this insight and excitement with students. In addition, I love the freedom that PE allows for students to learn in a variety of contexts, and I believe these learnings are so transferable to life beyond school.

How do you engage students who are unsure or self-conscious about participating in PE?
Contrary to what some people may think of traditional PE, there is space for everyone. I encourage students to get involved and often use challenge by choice so the learner can demonstrate autonomy and engage in the class in a way that is not invasive. The students at ACG Strathallan seem pretty enthusiastic about PE so far, which is super pleasing.

What’s been your ACG Strathallan highlight so far?
Year 9 Camp – I love seeing students interact and learn in unfamiliar environments.

We hear you’re a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field. Tell us about your sporting endeavours.
I started playing rugby when I was 13. I went to an all-girls high school, and I was so excited when I found out that they had a rugby team. I still remember how disappointed I was when I went to sign up in Year 7 and read that I had to wait until I was in Year 9! I have loved the game ever since. And am so excited to see so many young girls starting to get into it. During secondary school, I spent most of my summers playing cricket and touch and dabbled in a bit of netball too. Once I left school, I played rugby for Otago for five years and now play for North Harbour. I live in Auckland Central suburbs and play my club rugby at College Rifles. I still play touch in the summer and have signed up for AFL – I’m excited to see how that goes!

Where can we find you when you are not at school?
Either training, coaching or running. The beach is my happy place, and I spend most of the summer in the water and even in the winter, I like to be near it! Otherwise, I’ll be in the great outdoors, spending time with my partner and friends, or sometimes enjoying live music.

What tips do you have for students in 2022?
Make time to enjoy everything school has to offer. Please play sports or sign up for a club; you can learn so much about yourself by moving out of your comfort zone. Treasure the friendships you make and try hard in everything you do.

Having played representative rugby for Otago for five years, sports enthusiast Liv Waldron now plays for North Harbour