Specialist Visual Art Teacher Year 7,8 & 9
How did you first get involved in teaching, what attracted you to this profession?
I was never under any illusion about how demanding and involving becoming a teacher would be for me. I went back to University more than 20 years after finishing my degree in Fine Arts at Elam- Auckland, and wasn’t prepared for the rigors of training in a year for what is a 3 year degree in Education. I survived it and loved my 8 years at most year levels in Primary education before getting the job of my dreams at Pinehurst. Nobody warned me about how rewarding sharing knowledge and learning with students would be! Teaching a well-planned lesson is immediately rewarding as delighted students switch into the learning.
Describe what it means to you to be a teacher?
Corny I know, but you do most definitely make a difference! We all remember our passionate teachers from school and the ones that made an effort to relate to you as an individual. Yes – few and far between they were, so a golden opportunity to be one of those inspiring ‘coaches’ in life and to make available to students your own passion for learning, for teaching, acquiring new knowledge and for discovery. I love to tell what I know in stories, adding to the ‘adventure’ every time they sit in my classroom.
What attracted you to Pinehurst?
What wouldn’t attract anyone to Pinehurst! Whole School campuses surely are the most holistic for the well-being of both teachers and students. That sense of belonging and knowing what is going to happen as the students ‘jump’ across from Primary to Junior College and then Senior College. Deep friendship bases are formed and tremendous respect for teachers from the students. The day I started here, teaching my passion, every cell in my body connected. Everything finally made sense. I trust not everyone has to wait that long for their lives to make sense!....lol
What do you enjoy most about working/teaching at Pinehurst School?
That I’m well respected by my colleagues and students. I feel I can easily negotiate my position on issues, can negotiate change and promote my specialty to management. I am trusted to do my job to a high standard without being unduly questioned. As a result I have been able to ’grow’ my passion for teaching Visual Art into a position of value, standing equally with any core subject.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about education?
That the journey of gaining new knowledge, the inquiry into the layers of understanding and processing new learning is a ‘gift’ to give and a ‘gift’ to receive.
Explain why you like teaching the Cambridge Curriculum? That it’s internationally recognised and that we’ve been able to escape the contentious issues surrounding National Standards, which the State sector is ‘fighting.’
How long have you been teaching?
Where did you train and what qualifications to you hold
I trained to be a teacher at Massey University here in Albany 1998, but gained my degree in Fine Arts at Auckland University in the 70’s.
Has teaching always been your profession?
I’m always hooting inside when I have to answer this question. No – I did a decade of being an Air Hostess for British Airways (when I ran out of money on my O.E.), and then after that for Air New Zealand, when I finally returned home. I absolutely loved it but it wasn’t for me for life. While my 2 adult children were young I ran a creative decorating-type business with a friend where we’d teach women how to apply the decorating ideas of the day. I went teacher training when my children were 11 and 8.
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make?
Growth of ‘self’, inquiry, new knowledge and exploration … the learning from and with others.
Are you involved in any volunteer, fundraising activities, associations or professional bodies or have you received and awards, medals or even medallions?
Over time, I have been proactive in the area I live. I was part of the start of the Community Committee which still is a strong operating Local Body and has had some contentious issues to deal with over the last 3 decades. Always on the Plunket Committee, School Parent Bodies, ( P.T.A’s ), at my children’s Primary School and for 2 years each on the Trust Board at the Mairangi Arts Centre and the North Shore Arts Forum.
What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? Briefly tell us about you.
Don’t you just hate those ice-breaker sessions at ‘Professional Development courses’ where you have to say the sum total of your parts in 3 sentences! Apart from loving my family and my myriad friends, who are all fascinating individuals, I love to laugh (mostly at myself ), I love to inquire and learn new things, I love to paint and be alone in my studio to think and to experiment and get messy, I love to view art of any kind and to ponder, I love to travel – mostly intrepid - and learn from others and their beliefs and cultures and I love to feel grateful for all I have.