Educator fol­lows in fam­ily’s foot­steps

Wairarapa News - - WHAT’S ON -

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.’’

PHOTO: LYNDA FERINGA

Mu­seum Educator at Ara­toi, Diana ‘Dee’ Cruse

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