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.