Cathy has participated in professional development with the Educational Leadership Project over a number of years. This has involved in-centre professional development, and engaging in action research. Last year, she participated in literacy and pedagogical leadership learning and teaching with a mentor centre. This year, the teaching team at Selwyn Kindergarten, with whom she teaches, are mentoring a new ELP centre.
Cathy originally trained as a nurse and after having children developed an interest in Early Childhood, completing a Diploma of Teaching after teaching as an untrained reliever in an Early Childhood Centre. She has taught, and learnt, in an early childhood and a Montessori centre. Cathy is currently a member and teacher of the Selwyn Kindergarten learning community in Rotorua.
“I have a passion for writing and documenting assessment for learning for both the tamariki and myself. I enjoy asking questions of myself and my practice and reflecting on my thoughts and ideas with colleagues and early childhood students, whom I mentor. I was acting head teacher for 9 months at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.
I feel passionate about being honest with myself and listening and learning from others around me. I acknowledge the learning that experience has provided for me over the years, some of which has been difficult. I also acknowledge the learning I have gained from those around me.
At home, I like to garden, spend time with my friends, read when I have time and spend time with my grandchildren, with whom I have had the privilege of getting to know well and whom I have learnt an incredible amount from."
Kathryn Delany (ELP) attended Cathy's workshop Learning Stories - Who Are the Learners? at our Celebrating Learning Stories conference:
"In this presentation, Cathy shared steps in her journey in growing and documenting reflective practice. Cathy shared examples of her Learning Stories as she developed and began including reflections on teaching and learning. She highlighted that one of the outcomes for including reflections in Learning Stories has been the strengthening of relationships with children and wh?nau. Parent and Wh?nau voices now often include their own reflections about their children’s learning.
I was reminded how we, as teachers, have opportunities to discover our own learning processes in teaching and that documenting this process in Learning Stories adds another dimension to reflection, thus, transforming practice. Cathy noted that having a growth mindset, her own learning dispositions of being courageous, taking risks and being empathetic, and the support from colleagues who engage in pedagogical discussions had made this reflection in Learning Stories possible."
Cathy shares a story she wrote for Clayton
In this story, she comments on Clayton's knowledge of maths, how he plans his own learning and how Clayton teaches Cathy.