Making a difference by helping you make a difference
(B.Ed, PG SNRT, M.Ed. Hons and MOE Accredited Facilitator)
I recently read a quote by Steve Jobs that really resonated with me
“I want to put a ding in the universe”
Well that’s what I want to do for education in New Zealand. Personally, shouldn’t everyone be wanting the same? Shouldn’t we all be encouraging our students to make their ding in the universe?
Over the 27 years I have been involved in education, (as a teacher, RTLB, DP, and principal) I have seen many initiatives come and go, and to be honest, sat through days of boring, unengaging professional development, where one person did pretty much all the talking – the presenter. (For those of you know me, you might be surprised to know it wasn’t me.)
However, 10 years ago I was introduced to Kagan Cooperative Learning and I was excited! This was professional development that was engaging, real, and practical, and so relevant to the needs of students and schools in NZ.
It was all so simple and clear, yet was going to make a profound difference not only to the way I taught, but more importantly, for my students.
Kagan Structures meant I could deliver the curriculum effectively while also developing those all-important interpersonal skills in a safe brain-friendly environment…a no-brainer! You wouldn’t believe how many times I have heard that since becoming a Kagan trainer.
So to me, this was an idea that was worth pursuing. And I did!
So here I am, still involved in education but at a level where now I can positively impact on many teachers and learners. As a Certified International Trainer for Kagan USA, and lead trainer/director for Kagan NZ, I am very fortunate to be in a position where I am able to work closely with schools and see first-hand the difference we are making for teachers, and more importantly, students. I know it works. Teachers tell me it works. Children tell me it works. Research says it works.
Therefore, it is my mission that Kagan Cooperative Learning will become the recognised preferred teaching pedagogy in New Zealand. Watch this space!
Jennie’s role includes: Operations Manager, Director of Workshops, Marketing and Business Development, Lead Trainer – Chief Bottle-Washer
Allan is the other Director of Kagan NZ. He is not an educator, but he could tell by how passionate Jennie was about Kagan, that this was something that could make a difference, and that definitely appealed to him.
After meeting the Kagans and the team at HQ, and attending workshops for two weeks at Summer Academy*, he was impressed by their professionalism, their commitment to improving education worldwide, their workshops, trainers and staff, and their business and personal philosophy – they walk the talk!
By the way, he is still the only builder to have ever attended a Kagan workshop anywhere, let alone two weeks of them!
*Kagan Summer Academy runs for two weeks in July in Orlando and is a full calendar of workshops for educators from all over the world.
Casey is one of those happy people you can’t help liking the moment you meet her. She is the Lead Teacher for Kagan at her school in South Auckland, and is a driven person, as she has seen over and over the difference it has made for all students, especially the large number of ORRS students.
Her role at Kagan NZ, apart from being one of our outstanding trainers, includes being part of the creative team for marketing and resource development, as well as a highly-driven promoter of all things Kagan.
Casey and Hayden have recently become very proud parents to Poppy, so she is helping in behind the scenes (when she has time).
Here at Kagan, we love having Trish as part of the team. While she has only recently become a trainer for us, she has been involved as both a client and a friend for quite some time. Trish leads Kagan at her West Auckland school, and has had outstanding success with her students – academically, socially and behaviourally.
Trish’s role is constantly evolving as she is always adding in new things. So aside from being part of the creative and marketing team, she helps with adminstrative tasks, operations support, and promotions. And she’s a great sounding-board!