Teachers do well despite the system, not because of it.
"I always wanted to help children reach their potential and enjoy learning. My brother had problems with the school, it was not a pleasant experience and I saw him suffering for many years. And I wanted to make a difference, especially for those children who do not find it easy to learn. We try to make these children have their best opportunities garanteed, we want them to have pleasurable experiences, to feel the process of learning as something pleasant and not tortured or painful, as it often is.
The educational system in New Zealand is a real transition at the moment. I think in the past we had a more holistic system. We always had an image of a great model of education. We have take into account the child in its entirety and seek to create learners for life rather than just teach reading, writing and mathematics, so that they become good learners. But that began to change in the last five or six years probably.
There is increasing privatization, many organizations managing schools for profit. National standards were brought in a few years ago, so there are minimum goals must be achieved at the end of each school year. But these goals were set to be something to be conquered, so we always have a large proportion of children can't reach them. And this is not good for the system image.
Many of these changes are politically motivated and the teachers have not been part of the conversation, things are sent, and we are not involved in any of the decisions. I think we teachers do well despite the system, not because of it.
I think we're surrounded by good colleagues, for example, in school, we do everything to make the political system and the educational system not able to change the way we do things. We do what we have to do, always keeping in mind what is best for children.
For my students I hope they become good thinkers.
I hope they are able to think for themselves, able to question themselves and to the world. I hope they become critical. I think they will do well, they are creative and will have good academic opportunities, scientific and also in life out off the books.
This is what I hope for them: That they value education, but also individual expressions, to think for themselves instead of accepting what is laid. To question everything."