From the Principal
Teacher Appreciation Day took place on Friday of last week, and was the conclusion of a number of activities and items we prepared to celebrate the work of teachers.
There are a number of myths about teachers and teaching which endure- I’m happy to dispel a number of them in this newsletter!
“A teacher’s day is 9 ‘til 3.”
We wish! Our car park is full by 8am in the morning, with the first cars appearing from 7 onwards. Most teachers will have some form of meeting with colleagues or parents before school- it’s almost unavoidable nowadays! Many of our teachers will also be engaged in professional development, leadership and management meetings on most evenings too! Maintaining excellence is something we take seriously at Pigeon Mountain, but with that comes responsibility, and pressures on time. In between these times, there is the small matter of teaching a group of 25 students and ensuring that they are reaching their potential. And then there is the marking and planning that needs to be done at home…
“Teachers get a huge amount of holidays.”
We are fortunate to have holidays spaced through the year, and a long break in the Summer- this is true. But we have no flexibility in when we can take our holidays- graduations, weddings, and big family occasions are often missed if they don’t fall in the Ministry holiday schedule. On top of this, teachers rarely completely ‘down-tools’ during holiday times- a significant portion is given up to planning for terms ahead, writing reports, and resourcing for upcoming units.
“Teaching is just about passing on knowledge to children.”
This idea discounts the complexity and variety in a teacher’s role. As well as ‘teaching’ students in the traditional sense, a teacher needs to be a social worker, noticing subtle changes in behaviour, and supporting children and families through tricky times. On top of this, they strive to provide opportunities to engage other children- perhaps through leading a club, coaching a team, or developing extra curricular interests. In between these roles, our teachers focus on identifying ways to keep growing and improving their teaching, identifying what works best for the learners in their room, and then sharing these approaches with colleagues- there are not enough hours in a day!
The teachers at PMPS are exceptional professionals who dedicate every ounce of their energy to our students and colleagues. Though last week was a good time to recognise their efforts, we’re so appreciative of the work they do throughout the year to continue providing ‘Education with a Heart’.
Our Bus Bay has now been remarked to return it to its original purpose- a bay for buses to use for the safety of our children on school trips and visits. To maintain the safety of students and community, the bay should not be used for parking, stopping, dropping or picking up children.
Congratulations to our Kids’ Marathon runners who finished their 2022 journey with a final 2km dash in Auckland city at the weekend! Despite shocking weather on Sunday, the students had a great time splashing in the rain, and were rewarded with a medal for their efforts. Over 30 students from our school took part in the Kids’ Marathon, 5km and 11km events which were part of the larger Auckland Marathon event. Since May, the Marathon runners have collectively covered 1600km- the equivalent of driving from Auckland to Invercargill!!
We have learned recently that two of our staff members are leaving us at the end of the year. Both Miss Kirkham and Miss Lee started their teaching careers with us in 2017 and we have had the pleasure of watching them grow and blossom into incredible young teachers, providing Education with a Heart.
Miss Kirkham will be commencing her full-time Masters in Education and Developmental Psychology degree in 2023, and we hope to see her relieving in classes between her studies.
Miss Lee has accepted a position at Australian International School in Singapore for 2023, and we hope to see her return in 2024 with new experiences and skills to share with PMPS students.
We wish both Miss Kirkham and Miss Lee well with their new ventures!
If you have neighbours or friends with children who they plan to enrol at Pigeon Mountain School, please help us out by reminding them to start the process as soon as possible. Students who are enrolled well ahead of their starting date will be able to participate in induction activities such as ‘Off to a Good Start’ sessions for 5 year olds, classroom visits, and school tours. Children who miss these opportunities generally find it more difficult to settle at school, and if the process of enrolment is not started soon enough, may see their starting date delayed as the enrolment is processed. Full details of timelines, procedures and documentation can be found on the school website.
Reminder of Important End of Year Events
Please consult the school calendar on our website for up to date details of important school events leading up to the end of the academic year.