Teaching can be tough, exhausting and even thankless at times leaving teachers content to perform as they always have, not willing to try anything new, too scared to climb out of the comfort zone.
But a school in New Zealand has done just that. They have climbed out of the comfort zone and in to a wide-open space, full of opportunities (literally, as well as metaphorically!). Kayrn Gray, Headteacher, explains why: ‘What you gain as a teacher working in a larger space with other teachers and larger numbers of students is comprehensive. It is the best professional learning I’ve ever done, and continue to do. And it makes you a much better teacher. You have to think about, and discuss everything you do. It is tiring, it is exhausting and sometimes you just want to shut yourself in your own room and do your own thing. But the benefits for those kids you have the privilege of learning with and responsibility for are extreme.’
Karyn has taken what the children there know – community, family groups mixing and living together – and created a learning environment that, although it takes staff out of the comfort zone, provides these vulnerable children with a safe and familiar place to learn.
And the result? Te Karaka Area School is now able to help these children ‘make a real difference to what the rest of their lives can be.’ #edusmiles