I also love the fact that we are from so many different places and we still get to connect. Some may take for granted that they can chat with people thousand of miles away, but I still marvel at that.
From my little corner down here in Brazil, I had the idea of shining a spotlight on some of my teacher-friends who are all over the world.
Every two weeks starting today, I'll be interviewing teacher-authors from different countries.
Follow my blog if you don't want to miss out on what these amazing people have to share.
|Click on the image to check out Rosie's TpT store|
Today, I'm interviewing Rosie, a teacher-author from New Zealand.
1. Can you tell us about the place you're from?
I grew up in Whangarei, a town in the upper North Island of New Zealand with a population of about 81,000 people. It’s famous for its beautiful beaches! I currently live and teach in Auckland (NZ’s biggest city of about 1.4 million people) It is one of the few cities in the world to have two harbours on two separate major bodies of water……. and of course lots more beaches!
|Rosie and Little Grub at a local beach|
Very, very diverse! A study was just completed that shows 40% of all Aucklanders (our biggest city) were born outside of New Zealand, and 30% speak more than one language. Elsewhere in NZ, schools are much more bi-cultural (English & Maori) but in the bigger cities they’re very multi-cultural. Auckland in particular has large communities of Pacifica and Asian peoples.
Most NZ classrooms are inclusive and include student with special needs and unique learning styles, as well as the high flyers!
|Little Grub touching a Maori carving|
The best aspect is relative freedom to design your own learning experiences to meet the specific needs of your class. There is big emphasis placed on staying aware of current pedagogy and best practice for teaching and learning. Most Kiwi teachers would also pride themselves on a fairly holistic approach to teaching and try to make sure sporting and cultural experiences are interwoven into daily school life.
The biggest challenge currently (my personal opinion) is the changing requirements in education from the government. There’s been a strong move towards more standardised assessment, data gathering and reporting. This is fine when used to inform and tailor your teaching, but really depressing when it feels like so much valuable teaching time is spent on assessing.
|Playing with a Paua shell|
Yes, I’ve always really enjoyed making my own resources. Now I’m not working full time and it's been nice having more time to indulge in making my resources more lavish! (All the things I wish I’d had more time to do when teaching full time!)
5. I absolutely love your product covers! Are you, by any chance, a graphic designer?
You are so kind ;-) Nope, no graphic design expertise, but I did complete a degree in Visual Arts before teacher training, and before that I studied conservation and ecology. I like to think my products are a good combination of both of those areas!!
6. Are there any specific tips you'd give to teachers from New Zealand looking to sell and share their resources on TpT (or similar websites)?
I think being aware of some basic differences in the way America operates is really important, especially as they are the majority of the customers on TpT.... some things to consider (besides the fact the US dollar converts really well to NZ!) include:
· Basic spelling differences (colour/color, etc.)
· Metric vs imperial (I always try to include both in my products)
· Differences in paper size! (A4/A3 vs legal/letter size)
· The fact that their year levels/grades don’t match completely with ours
· A difference (obviously!) in curriculums – I haven’t worried at all about aligning my products to common core and no one seems to mind
I now create all my products in US letter size with American spelling. Customers have the option of requesting an A4 version with alternate spelling, but after more than a year of selling, I’ve only ever had 1 customer request the alternate version! (P.S – it’s much easier to reformat a US Letter size to A4 than the other way around)
|A close-up of a silver-fern frond - one of the symbols of New Zealand|
Kiwis have all sorts of quirky sayings…… the ones I’m most fond of using on a daily basis are:
· “Good as gold” (I’m fine, it’s great)
· “Yeah nah” - slightly complicated to explain…. It generally means you agree with what the person’s saying but not entirely. Or depending on the emphasis it could also mean: "Ummm I'm thinking", or "yeah-NAH" = "over my dead body", or "YEAH-nah” = "maybe, but probably not!”
· “Sweet as” (Awesome, great)
· “Aye” (rhymes with HAY. This just gets tacked onto the ends of sentences for emphasis, e.g. “It’s all good aye?”)
And that's all folks!
Thank you, Rosie, for kindly accepting to participate! Interviewing you was a joy!
Now go check out the most amazing pictures that Rosie shares on Instagram, peruse her smorgasbord of quirky nature pins or just chat with her on her Facebook or G+ pages.
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Thanks for reading!