The flexibility that attracts students to online learning was what led John Knowler to take on a facilitator’s role with SIT2LRN.
Just over three years ago, John swapped eight years of on-campus tutoring at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) for a facilitator’s role, with the New Zealand Certificate in Career Preparation (Health Sciences) Levels 3 and 4.
John’s teaching career in both Australia and New Zealand has always revolved around anatomy and physiology – it’s the area he most enjoys, and the online environment has suited him to a T.
“Like my students, I was at a stage in life where I preferred the flexibility.
“The great thing about it is when people have questions it is usually in the evenings, and that’s when I am usually available. And that’s not the case when you’re face-to-face, you’re locked into the old 9 to 5. If your students have questions outside of that, they have to wait until the next day.
“Most of the time I try to answer immediately (or at least within a couple of hours), and then they can carry on studying. It’s definitely extended the hours beyond the normal, but I don’t mind that at all.”
Most of his students will move on to nursing studies, with the qualification serving as something of a bridging step. Some may have just left high school but need to improve their science results, while others are older, seeking a career change.
“Often it’s the case that if they do well in this, they can apply for nursing the next year.”
Invercargill born and bred, university wasn’t really an option for John, so when he left school, he completed an electronics apprenticeship. Then a move to Australia opened new doors, allowing him to fulfil a long-held dream of becoming a teacher.
“When I went to Australia, university was just up the road.”
John made the most of it, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement Studies) and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Majoring in Health and PE. He has built on those qualifications ever since, always in the fields of sport and recreation, and the human body.
He and his wife lived in Australia for many years and had their three children – now aged 15, 18 and 20 – there, before deciding to move back to Invercargill to raise their family.
And while John has built an impressive CV of qualifications and work experience, he’s taking a break from studying for now to support his wife and her ongoing nurse practitioner studies.
These day John enjoys many sports socially and loves to get out hunting and fishing when he can.
“ I love helping students and just hope they develop a passion for the Human Body after studying it – like I did ”