11 new short video clips have now been uploaded at the top of the page 'VF9' from the above menu bar. These show my trip from Barrytown/Greymouth as I finished up on the West Coast and headed to Christchurch in early January, 2015. These images show various points going from Greymouth back to CHCH via the Lewis Pass. As I had always gone via Arthurs Pass, I decided to go another route this time.
Term 4 last year saw me teaching a fantastic lass of Year 4 and 5 kids at Paroa School in Greymouth. The school has about 180 kids all up (full primary). I had a fantastic time both with my class as well as with the school. A fantastic staff who really make you feel as if you are a part of the team. I was last at this school for a few weeks back in 2010 when the Pike River tragedy occurred, so it was great to come back to a familiar place. Below are some images I took of some of the kids in action which gives a glimpse into some of the things we were are to do during Term 4. A couple of short video clips are also viewable in the VF pages. Many thanks Paroa School for allowing this teacher to have a great time for the term.
Below are a few images taken from the West Coast. I thought I would also do a few walks before heading back to CHCH (I was living in Barrytown while working in Greymouth). The walks were The Truman Track, Punakaiki Rocks, and one of the entrances into the Paparoa Ranges.
During the end of Term 3, I did a number of days in a senior class at Governors Bay School (which is a fantastic 3 teacher school with great kids and staff). Below are a few images of some work we did over 2-3 days.
I taught a Year 4 class at Ashburton Borough School (full primary) for the last 5 weeks of Term 2, 2014 (I came down from the North Island for the job). This is one of the bigger schools I have taught in (as most of them a smaller schools that I am used to). However, despite being a bit nervous (at the start) of being in a big school, I had a fantastic time. The kids were great and the staff were fantastic as well. You really did feel as if you were a part of the school. When I came down from North Taranaki, my first night in the South Island (I stayed in Rakaia) was -3. Talk about a sudden change in climate. Needless to say, I did some quick winter shopping.
Ramanui School is a 3 teacher school in Hawera, South Taranaki (Contributing). As you can see there are a lot of buildings and ground for the size (that was great). A number of the images shows Mount Taranaki and surroundings, as the school went on an overnighter up the mountain.
Matihetihe School is a 2 teacher school (full primary), was out in the sticks (in fact at the end of the road), in the North Hokianga. I ended up there 3 times in 2013 (I travelled up from Taranaki all 3 times). Once each in Terms 1, 2, 3. The first time I was in the the Year 1-5 class, the 2nd time part of the juniors and part of the seniors (Y5-8), and the final time in term 3, apart from one day, I spent all my time in the senior class. I had a fantastic time all three times. A super, super staff (both teaching and support staff), and I always felt welcome (which is why I kept going back). The kids were great, and the scenery is fantastic. Yes you are out on gravel road on a dead end road, but it is well worth it. I really had a great time, and we got to have heaps of laughs along the way. Many thanks for a great time.
While I was up there, I also got to do a few days at Herekino School (not far from Ahipara-the start of 90 Mile Beach), which is on the other side of the Hokianga Harbour. Another small 2 teacher school.
Whareorino is a sole charge school in North Taranaki and at the time had a massive roll of 7 kids in the whole school. Yes all the kids (not the big kid) in the image made up the whole school roll (it was pretty stressful). Later on it actually rose to the big 8 (I had words with the boss about that one!). A lovely little school out in the middle of nowhere, but still somewhere. The big guy you can see in the picture is actually the young man who ended up walking the entire coastline of NZ (Brando Yelavich). He was on his way down the West Coast when he popped in to Whareorino school on one of the days I was relieving here.
Maihiihi School is a 3 teacher school in the Waikato (East of Otorohanga). The work I did here was just day relief. The below images show some art I did with them, as well as a cooking challenge, and to top it off, a technology challenge. The technology challenge was where they had to work together to put a kitset bike together. The bikes were then given to the school to fundraise. You will also see an image of a BBQ, which was also a technology change for a bigger group. A great little country school (mainly in a dairy area).
Arohena School is a 3 teacher rural school. I have done some day relief in two of the rooms, although most of my work has been in the senior class (Years 5-8). This is a fantastic school with really great kids and staff. I have always enjoyed my days here (day relief only). You'll notice that there are 3 images of a BBQ. Two of them are on the deck and one is of the BBQ on the grass. You may well be wondering why (and yes all three were taken on the same day). Let's just say it is my one and only hiccup (so far anyhow) with a BBQ where things started to get a bit hot (and it wasn't the sausages getting hot). Just my luck, when all this happened, it just happened to had been on the same day the new Principal who had been appointed to the job, was visiting the school (he wasn't going to forget me).
I went over to GB (Great Barrier) in 2012 to do a fill in job for 4 weeks. At the time, Mulberry Grove School was a two teacher school. The class I was in charge of was a Year 4-8 class, although I also had quite a bit to do with the junior class (the teacher was kind enough to put up with me). The ship you can see in the images is the Spirit of NZ which was in port at the time I was over there. A fantastic little school. I certainly learnt a lot about being in an off shore island where you couldn't just shoot into town to do the shopping. All power was by some kind of generator (a first for me). Only had power for 1 hr in the am and 2 hours in the evening, although sometimes I went a bit over in the weekend. I also found out all about 'Jenni' on the island. I couldn't figure out why people were moaning about Jenni at times. As time went on, I found out that Jenni was in fact Geni, short for Generator.
Hangatiki School was my first job back in the classroom after being in the CHCH Feb, 2011 e/q (I was only in my 2nd days relieving as a day to day reliever at Linwood Ave School when it hit). I was employed at Hangatiki as a casual relief teacher, and then became the PR until the closure. Hangatiki was a sole charge school. I only had 5 students (as shown in the images), so it was pretty rough with the high numbers. It was a fantastic school, and both the secretary and Principal were two extremely capable and friendly people. Unfortunately, Hangatiki School no longer exists. It was closed down at the end of Term 2, 2012. If there is one plus, at least I got to work at Hangatiki right up until the end. If you drive past the site now, it looks very different to those images shown in the attached pictures. More images yet to come. Towards the end, we had a fun sports day with other schools coming along (that's why there are some images which show heaps of kids).
I was only employed for a weeks relieving at Hokitika Primary, but had a great time. I just happened to had been in the area (as I was about to head back to the N.I), and popped in to introduce myself, when I was offered the work. I was in charge of a senior class (contributing), and although only there for a week, we got through a lot of things. This school even had their own radio type station (I was impressed). Hokitika is a mid sized primary school.
Well here I am trying something new (so forgive me if I look a bit rusty at this blogging stuff). After FaceBook loosing all my past posts and comments (not to mention my followers), which was a result of supposed new changes which were supposed to make things better, I thought stuff it, and I would try the blogging side of things on my website where hopefully I have more control (as well as support when I need it which FB wouldn't do). All the previous images and kids in action which were posted on FB seem to have also been lost. Of course all resources which were available are still all available because those are all housed on this website. If you were someone who was following me on FB, hopefully you have found this and can follow me via my blog. This is where I will now post various activities and events in the various schools and areas I go to. All images/photos will be housed in my blog. All short video clips will be housed in the 'VF' pages which can be found by clicking the VF pages listed in the menu bar. The bigger the page number, the most recent the video clips will be on those pages. Update: Typical. Now I have spent ages figuring out this blogging thing, FB finally comes to the party and finds what they lost. Oh well, I think I will keep with this blogging now I am getting used to it.