When the decision was made to produce the resource kit for teachers, the Trust needed someone to assist delivering it onsite. Lynne had been on our radar for a while, with helpful suggestions and comments as we struggled through the initial stages. When she decided to retire from full time teaching, the timing couldn’t have been better. Lynne takes up the story…
I was born and raised on a farm in Southland, trained as a teacher in Dunedin, then moved to Napier and remained there. I taught for four years, then took time out to have three children and then ended up back teaching, much to my surprise.
During my teaching career my special area of interest has been the school’s Outdoor Education programme, and for me the highlight of the school year outdoor programme included the annual school camp.
My interest in outdoor education led to an involvement in the national Outdoor Education body, EONZ. This involvement took on many forms, from developing resources for teachers to being contracted to provide professional development for teachers. The professional development training contract was focused around safety management and the implementation of safety management guidelines for schools. This has been a rewarding, yet challenging side-line to my teaching career.
More recently I took responsibility for my school’s Education for Sustainability Programme, working with a group of students to develop a vision for the school as a sustainable community. This resulted in students planting a native area, a vegetable garden, setting up recycling systems, generally enhancing the school environment, and more importantly awakening in the students an awareness of the fragility of the world we live in. The students began discussions on how to better care for this world.
I chose to retire from the classroom at the end of 2012 with the intention of taking on a new challenge that would hopefully encompass the aspects of education that I had really enjoyed.
What could be better than being involved at Guthrie Smith Arboretum and Education Centre? This was where I had spent many enjoyable camps with my school classes and I knew what a great facility it is and what a quality programme it had on offer.
I have seen the Arboretum plantings developing over the years and wondered how they could be incorporated into a camp programme. So after seeing the resource developed by Dr Amelia McQueen, and having a guided walk around the different areas of the Arboretum I was excited at the prospect of putting together a package that would give added value to the camp experience at Guthrie-Smith.
The highlight of the environmental programme that has been developed is seeing children get excited about the trees, discuss their uses, talk about the importance of birds and insects and at the same time have a fun time. I also enjoy the opportunity to work with and support teachers to value the environment as a rich learning environment.