16 Jun Friday Five – Hannah Cameron

Psychology teacher and House Dean, Hannah Cameron, is up first as we showcase a different teacher each week through our ‘Friday five’ questions.

How long have you been teaching and how long you been at Nayland College?

I qualified as a teacher in 2001 but I haven’t worked solidly since then as I took a few years off when we first moved to Nelson to raise my kiddies. I have taught at 2 high schools in the UK, spent 2 years teaching English in a Japanese high school, taught at intermediate and primary schools in NZ and am now in my fourth year at Nayland College. Subjects I have taught include psychology, sociology, politics, health, English, citizenship and religious studies. I also have a diploma in careers guidance. I guess you could say I’m a ‘jack-of-all-trades’!

What are your passions and areas of expertise?

Psychology is my passion and main area of interest in terms of teaching. I’m fascinated by what makes people tick and I enjoy seeing students learn about themselves. Psychology has a real world relevance that especially appeals to teenagers. I think it’s really important that we all try to understand what influences us as human beings and what makes us who we are.

That’s also what appeals to me about deaning and pastoral care – I get a buzz out of helping people to achieve, get over barriers, see possibilities and reach their goals. My interest in study skills is linked in to both – I want to encourage people to use their brains effectively to make the most of their learning.

Who has inspired you on your own learning journey?

Loads of people! I am constantly nicking ideas from other teachers and think you can always be questioning and improving how you do things. I’m inspired by students who get to school and succeed despite having lots to cope with at home. The Growth Mindset stuff has inspired me recently. I am quite competitive and have never enjoyed failing – I am training myself to use setbacks positively and not get frustrated by failure. Golf is the exception. I can’t play golf and trying makes me mad.

What is your favorite thing about the school?

The strong and genuinely caring relationships between students and staff and that I feel the pastoral system is woven through everything we do rather than tacked on at the edge. And openness to change. And the fact it’s co-ed.

What are your ambitions for the future?

This is a really exciting time to be involved in education and I am looking forward to being a part of the changes ahead. I’d like to see psychology taught in more schools in NZ and to get the recognition it deserves. And to see my own kids grow up happy. Then maybe world domination.

By Nayland College

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