Educator follows in family’s footsteps
Three youth programmes are starting at Aratoi Museum. Madeleine Slavick found out more about Museum Educator Diana Cruse, who is facilitating two of them.
What inspired you to be an educator?
‘‘After the birth of my first child, I really wanted to become a paediatrician. I already had my honours degree and received a scholarship for a graduate diploma, so I thought I’d teach to save up for med school. I’ve ended up falling in love with teaching and have no plans to leave the sector. I’ll do my PhD eventually, so I’ll have that ‘Dr.’ title one day.’’ Does anyone in your family teach?
‘‘The quicker answer might be who isn’t working in education. Three sisters teach, plus aunties, uncles, cousins… My mother, a high school teacher, trained in her fifties after leaving high school at 16 and having seven children. When two older sisters started at university (law and teaching), Mumdecided she wanted a degree too, and my sister andMumwere in some classes together. She is an example of true persistence. But being an educator isn’t necessarily defined by a piece of paper on the wall; my dad doesn’t have a degree, and he’s been one of my greatest teachers.’’ Howwould you describe yourself as a student?
‘‘Tired. Working full time, being a singlemumto three young children, and studying for my Master of Education was one of the hardest things I’ve done. But I persisted and recently finished – now I’m just crossing my fingers they pass my thesis.’’ Anything to add?
‘‘I’d really like to see businesses sponsor local children to attend education programmes, children who’d not have the chance otherwise.
‘‘I came from a family of seven children and dreamed of attending programmes like this, but it simply wasn’t an option due to the lack of money our whanau had.
‘‘Let’s reduce barriers to participation and help make things a little bit more equitable.’’
Museum Educator at Aratoi, Diana ‘Dee’ Cruse