A shared passion for inspiring tamariki

A shared passion for inspiring tamariki

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A shared passion for inspiring tamariki


Spotlight on two exceptional teachers, Jenny and Adele.

Jenny and Adele are two remarkable Barnardos teachers who share a passion for nurturing and inspiring young Tamariki.

 Jenny MacLean: going above and beyond for tamariki and whānau

Jenny, a strong and independent single mother, was determined to create a brighter future for herself and her child. After realising that working in a bakery wasn't her calling, she decided to pursue her passion for teaching children by applying to study for a bachelor's degree in education at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Hawke’s Bay. Jenny's nurturing nature and love for children led her to qualify as a teacher in 2007. Since then, she has been a valuable member of Barnardos’ Hastings Centre, forming deep connections with tamariki and their whānau.

"After I finished studying, I did my teaching practice at Barnardos’ Hastings Centre, and haven’t left since. I knew I had found my community and the right place to make a difference,” says Jenny.

Jenny loves the demographic she works with and strives to help every child shine bright.

“Teaching is not just about academics. It's about building relationships with whānau and creating those special moments with children. I remember a little boy who had never been separated from his family before. Through emotional attachment and filling his knowledge bank at our centre, he has settled and thrived. Those moments make teaching worthwhile.”

Jenny has also been proactive in securing grants to support families in need. She has sent a family to Taupō for a break, provided art supplies to children interested in drawing, and worked with the District Health Board to ensure a family received heating in their home. Jenny continues to make a big difference in the lives of those she supports.

Adele Watkins: 30 years of teaching experience

Introducing Adele, an incredible teacher who started her teaching career at just 18 years old and has been dedicated to it ever since. Even at a young age, Adele had a natural talent for caring and mentoring children. With 30 years of experience in early childhood education, Adele has found her passion in working with young tamariki and providing wraparound support to whānau.

“What I love most about teaching is seeing the children at the centre light up as they learn. Being able to bring light into their lives and being their support system to keep them safe and lift their mana is the reason why I am a teacher,” says Adele.

Reflecting on her teaching career, Adele says, “The rewards of teaching are immeasurable. Watching every child become their own person is fulfilling and I am grateful I get to help them flourish every day.”

Both Jenny and Adele understand the significance of their role as teachers in the lives of children. They recognise the importance of continuous learning and improvement, always striving to provide the best education and support for tamariki at their centres. Their dedication, passion, and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of children and families are truly inspiring.