Trudy Harvey comes across as any other relateable modern-day English teacher.
She has an in-depth understanding of Hogwarts and the ability to place students into the house that best suits their character, as well as an interest in pop culture such as Game of Thrones. However, once you delve a little deeper, you’ll find all kinds of wisdom that lies beneath.
Miss Harvey is no stranger to sunny Nelson, as she spent the first 20 years of her life here. She was 16 years old when she decided she wanted to become a teacher, following in the rhythmic footsteps of her former dance teacher Peta Spooner. At the time dance wasn’t a degree you could get at university, so she decided to do “whatever else” – which happened to be English and Classical Studies.
She began teaching it at an all girls’ high school in Wellington for three years. She then taught for two years in the UK, before moving back to Wellington to teach at co-ed Wellington High.
Miss Harvey says she still partly feels as if she’s just here on holiday, visiting her parents. However, she is starting to feel at home here at Nayland because of the similarities in size with her last school and the very diverse group of students both schools have. Another similarity is the learning and teaching styles and the more liberal approach the two both take.
She says one difference is that because of Wellington High School being a mufti school, it was seen as a safe hub for students from other schools (often members of the LGBT+ community) to come to.
Any student of Miss Harvey’s class will be well aware of just how much of an ally she is for children struggling with their sexuality. There is a rainbow-coloured poster as you walk into class, reminding students to think about the homophobic language they use and how it may affect others.
“I’d love to see people being more kind to each other and using more inclusive language (…),” she said. “Understanding that even though it may not be intended that way, it can alienate people, exclude people, make people negatively question their own positions.”
Miss Harvey is an exciting new addition to the Nayland College staff, with her open-minded approaches to learning and understanding of the fact that all students are different.
“Learning is individual and people can show success in a lot of different ways, and meet certain standards their own way, without having to all do exactly the same thing.”
By student reporter Ruby Vidgen