Jo has a Bachelor of Teaching and has been a teacher in a variety of ECE settings including Kindergarten, a creche, full day ECE settings as well as being a Play Centre Parent. Her most recent teaching experience was at Glamorgan Kindergarten in 2014 for a term. Previous to this her last long term job was at Westmere kindergarten where she was head teacher for 8 years.
In 2005, Jo was selected as one of ten teachers to represent New Zealand at the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Conference in Seoul. She was also the first early childhood E-Fellow 2005 (a Ministry funded teacher release contract). Her research was titled “Can the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) enhance the complexity, connections and continuity of young children’s story telling?”
Jo has been working with Educational Leadership for the last 11 years and has many highlights through this time, including working with teachers through out New Zealand and overseas. Jo is currently teaching at Chelsea Kindergarten, loving working alongside Julie Killick and Joanne Behse, putting into practice what she has shared with teachers over the years. Jo is available through ELP for private evening work in the Auckland area.
Inquiry Based Learning
I have been supporting teaching teams with Internal Evaluation and work with an Inquiry based learning model, the shifts that happen for individuals and teams through this process strengthens outcomes for children as well as strengthening teachers reflective practice. Teams I work with I encourage to develop a research question and indicators to support their question, this process indicates action is going to happen and teachers will be the people leading this action and change. For many teams this is the first time they have worked collaboratively on an inquiry based review and they find it really brings the team together sharing a common goal and having regular time to discuss and share learning.
Te Whāriki underpins everything I do within my practice from working with children, to working with teaching teams and colleagues. In particular the Principles of Te Whāriki, relationships, empowerment, holistic development and family and community are central to the way I live my life and the way I am everyday in my place of work. This is not just a curriculum that guides us in the way we work with children and families, it is also a document with principles to guide us in the way we work and interact with each other on a daily basis.
I have worked on the Ministry funded Te Whāriki contract where I supported teachers to deepen their understandings of what a socio-cultural curriculum looks like in everyday practice and through this Professional Development, I too gained a deeper understanding of living Te Whāriki, it is way more than implementing Te Whāriki, it is a lived curriculum and has changed the way I am as a teacher and the way I view the world.
I have a deep interest in socio-cultural assessment, learning stories and planning and have seen the difference this can make for outcomes for children. In particular I am very interested in the continuity of learning, documenting progress for a child or for groups of children. Reflecting on the learning happening for children overtime with a dispositional lens, and encouraging teachers to write from their hearts when they write a learning story. This shifts teachers to a different place in their writing.. For many years now the bulk of my work has been about supporting teachers to deepen their understandings of what socio-cultural learning, teaching and assessment look like in every day practice and as a consequence of this my own understandings of the theory underpinning learning, teaching and assessment has strengthened. My own philosophy is strengthened by the work of Margaret Carr, Guy Claxton, Carol Dweck and Wendy Lee, whose principles I take into my daily life when working with teachers and with children.
At the heart of what I do in my work with teachers is relationships I think basically if we think of Te Whāriki in regards to not only guide us in the way we interact with children, it is also applicable to us as teachers and the way we interact with each other. What particularly resonates with me is the children’s questions, ‘Do you know me, Can I trust you, Do you hear me, Do you let me fly and Is this place fair for us? If we keep these to the forefront of our minds then I think this is a framework for guiding me in the establishment and ongoing maintaining of relationships, with teachers, with children, with whānau and with the wider community.
Information and Communication Technologies
I am passionate about the use of ICT to support children’s learning and am very confident in this area. I work in responsive ways, listening, watching, engaging and supporting children’s interests in what ever way I can. I do see my self as a learner and researcher alongside children and other adults. A shared understanding between the teaching team about children’s learning, is critical for collaborative teaching and this happens through the day to day professional discussions and sharing the assessments of children’s learning.