Ko Tarawera te Maunga
Ko Tarawera te Awa
Ko Te Arawa te Waka
Ko Te Arawa te Iwi
I whānau mai ki Parawai
Kei Poike tōku kaianga
Ko Shane tōku mātua
Ko Lyn tōku whaea
Ko Gareth tōku tāne
Ko Zavier rātou, ko Peyton, ko Eva āku tamariki
Kua whakaako au ki Greerton Early Learning Centre mo ngā tau tekau ma iwa.
Ko Melissa Osmond tōku ingoa.
Melissa began her journey as a kaiako at the age of 16, working as a volunteer at a local early learning centre in Thames. Having had some very wise and inspiring teachers throughout her schooling, Melissa found a passion for teaching in the ECE sector and enrolled at the University of Waikato studying Bachelor of Teaching ECE.
During her time at University she was fortunate enough to have some highly influential advocates for ECE as lectures, Professor Margaret Carr being just one. She was employed by the Hamilton Childcare Services Trust throughout her three years at University and she was one of a select group of centres working alongside Professor Carr to trial and evaluate a series of assessment templates which are now known as ‘Learning Stories’. This was the beginning of her interest and passion for rich, meaningful assessment which embodied all of the aspirations of Te Whāriki and which upheld and celebrated the mana of all children within the learning and teaching environment.
For the past 21 years Melissa has taken on the role of ‘Casual Professional Development Facilitator’ on top of her daily teaching role, for Educational Leadership Project Ltd. Melissa has found this both satisfying and challenging, pushing her to be informed and knowledgeable about current teaching and learning pedagogy. Melissa’s role with ELP has involved regional and national facilitation on projects such as Kei Tua o te Pai, Leadership Inspiration Days, Learning Story Conferences, ECE Symposiums, Big Day Out conferences, tailored in centre PLD team meetings and year long PLD contracts with individual centres.
After working at Westmere Kindergarten in Auckland for two years Melissa and her husband decided that Tauranga Moana was the place to begin their own whānau, so in September 2002 they moved to Greerton and Melissa took up a teaching at Greerton Early Learning Centre. She has been a part of the Greerton Early Learning Centre whānau for nearly 19 years now and says that the shifts and growth of her professional teaching and learning practice has been exponential. Under the wise leadership of Lorraine Sands and all of her fellow colleagues, Melissa has been supported, challenged and mentored with a shared leadership approach (mahitahi), where all teachers are encouraged to bring their strengths and passions to the learning community.
Melissa has three children who are all part of Tauranga Peninsular Kahui Āko kura. Zavier is 16 and attends Tauranga Boys College, Peyton is 7 and attends Greenpark School, and Eva is 5 in August and will also attend Greenpark School. Melissa has also served the Greenpark School Community as a Board of Trustee Member from 2010 – 2016 and 2019-2022.
Whanaungatanga sits at the forefront of Melissa’s teaching philosophy, and she believes that relationships based on respect, empowerment and kindness sit at the heart of her teaching practice. In order to reach their full potential, Melissa believes that all ākonga, regardless of their age, must feel that they are part of a culture that invites and values their place within the learning community. In order to create this culture Melissa sees her role as working in partnership, where learning is co-driven and mutually responsive, ensuring at all times that the mana of all parties are not only upheld, but broadened and deepened.