Teacher help

Kapi-Mana News - - COURT/ NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

They don’t see them­selves as fill­ing a void, but forg­ing their own path to help teach­ers and par­ents.

Teacher Talk opened the doors of its Wall Pl, Kenepuru, premises four weeks ago. Mod­elled as an ed­u­ca­tion hub, the busi­ness’ aim is to in­spire early child­hood ed­u­ca­tors through work­shops, men­tor­ing and re­sources for the mod­ern teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The re­sources are de­signed and printed in-house, with the flair of well-known Porirua artist Xoe Hall com­ing up with posters, cards, books and other ma­te­ri­als. Pies, fish and chips, pavlova, ki­wis and the Bee­hive are just some of the mo­tifs used, which could have wider ap­peal than some of the ma­te­rial cur­rently used to teach.

Di­rec­tor Kate Robin­son said Teacher Talk would have been in com­pe­ti­tion with Mana Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre – which folded in De­cem­ber – but was con­fi­dent of forg­ing its own di­rec­tion.

‘‘We think we’re do­ing things a bit dif­fer­ently. In cre­at­ing the tools we have for Kiwi teach­ers, we’re en­cour­ag­ing bi­cul­tur­al­ism and help­ing forge ex­cit­ing ways to teach our chil­dren,’’ she said.

Euro­pean, Maori, Pa­cific and gay and les­bian cul­tures are rep­re­sented in Teacher Talk’s colourful re­sources. Pho­net­ics – words writ­ten as they sound – is part of the ma­te­rial as well, Robin­son said.

Teacher Talk’s con­crete build­ing can host groups of up to 100, with board rooms, meet­ing rooms and a theatre. First aid, Te Reo, lead­er­ship and self- re­view are among the cour­ses Teacher Talk of­fer.

But there’s more to the busi­ness than hav­ing solid bricks and mor­tar, shiny posters and ex­cel­lent work­shops.

‘‘What we want is to de­velop a fo­rum so we can shape the in­dus­try from within,’’ Robin­son said. ‘‘We want to con­stantly be talk­ing to ed­u­ca­tors, de­bat­ing is­sues and rep­re­sent­ing chang­ing val­ues in what we’re do­ing here.’’

The tight-knit team have started small but are look­ing to go na­tional and, even­tu­ally, ex­pand into Aus­tralia, where the pop­u­lar­ity of Maori and Pa­cific cul­ture is at an all-time high. Re­sources are sell­ing well on­line, Robin­son said

Go to teachertalk.org.nz.


Talk­ing teach­ing: The Teacher Talk team are forg­ing their way in the ed­u­ca­tion re­sources field. From left, top, Roy­don Shaw, Lauren Brown and Xoe Hall. Bot­tom, Kate Robin­son, Ste­vie El­liott, Tori Boo­nen and Vicki Rae.

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