Welcome. I am an ageing Kiwi (New Zealand) bloke who started using this blog as an educational tool, to learn so I can teach. I work with kids and hope that together we can learn how to create and use blogging as another way of communicating and expressing our (them) selves. I live in New Zealand (duh! you will already have got that, of course!) in Greymouth, on the West Coast of the South Island. It’s a wonderful part of the country and I hope you will be able to learn lots more about the place by browsing around this blog.
I was born in Taranaki,from where my teaching father moved us to Feilding, Norsewood, then back to his birthplace, Gisborne where I finished my schooling before moving to training college in Wellington.
I have been a teacher for all of my working career, starting in Wellington in 1965, and working in schools in Wellington, the Hutt Valley, the King Country, Bay of Plenty, Central volcanic plateau, and the southern Hawkes Bay before retiring and moving to “The Coast”.
I was a school principal in a number of schools, my first being Kakahi, a little 2 teacher school in The King Country (the middle of the North Island) where I was when New Zealand entered the era of ‘Tomorrow’s Schools’. Life was interesting as successive governments tinkered with how our children should be educated. One got the feeling on occasions that the Minister wasn’t getting particularly good advice given some of the things they did. (Either that or the Ministry didn’t have the nuts to put the Minster straight!!) Perhaps the changes weren’t all bad, but schools sometimes struggled to implement some changes. I believe it was true throughout, however, that schools generally managed changes well, always working for the benefit of the students.
In 2004 I relocated with my wife, Shonagh, to Greymouth and it was my intention that I supplement super with a few days relieving, and lots of fishing, golf, gold prospecting and otherwise as little as possible. This lasted only a couple of months at which time I was offered a part-time job teaching ICT at Greymouth Main primary school (this provided teachers with their classroom release, a benefit hard-won by the NZEI, the Educational Institute that I have been a member of for some 45 years as I write this!!)
I have since moved on from this and at the beginning of 2013 I enrolled ‘at school’- Tai Poutini Polytechnic ‘Certificate In Jade And Hard Stone Carving’ course. It is wonderful to finally scratch the itch I have long had- to move from bone to stone.
I have family elsewhere in New Zealand- a sister, Joanne in Wellington, brother Allan in Wanganui, daughters Alexis (and 2 grandsons, Nathan and Riley) and Kimberleyin Wellington, and son Campbellwho has now left the army having completed 2 tours to the awful Afghanistan. He is soon to marry having recently become the proud Daddy to Kiara, my first grandaughter. I have a cousin in Auckland. As a child I was led to believe we were the only ones of our name in NZ but we have since found out this is a bit of a nonsense and latterly the family has been trying to delve a bit more deeply into our heritage.
We profess to be Scots,but I think our deeper roots are in Irelandfrom whence we came to Western Scotland with invading warlords (who must have been successful as we have connections with several old Scottish clans- Campbell, Buchanan and Graham).
Oh, and of course I am occasionally a bit opinionatedso it’s a good opportunity!!!