My 3 boys and I

August 5, 2008

My School Days

Filed under: Home and Family,My Thoughts,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 4:22 pm

My friend Melissa wrote about her schooling years and they inspired me to blog about mine.

Mt Wellington Kindergarten

In 1974 I started attending Kindy. It was just the road from where we lived so it was nice and handy. I LOVED kindy. Maybe this was one of the reasons I always wanted to be a kindy teacher. I remember they had an old petrol tank which we could pretend we were getting petrol for our tricycles from. I use to love riding the tricycles around and around the large, sloping in places pathway around the sandpit.

This was a great preschool and start to my educational life. The kindy is still running today. My daughter attended this kindy as Im sure other 2 generations of children did.

Right next door to the kindy was a school. Which was neat most left to attend this school.

Syliva Park School

I attended this school from age 5 to 14 years of age. It was a full primary (intermediate school was included) and somewhere along the way I was kept back a year. I liked the fact that it was a full primary as one didnt have to go anywhere else between primary school and high school.

We did however go to a near by college for technology once a week when we were in Form 1 and 2 – when I was 12 to 14 years of age. We would do sewing, cooking, woodwork (which I especially enjoyed) and metal work.

I had Miss Wolfe as my first teacher. She was old and lovely. Unfortunity she retired and was replaced by Mrs Maitland.

I remember the morning assembly when I must have been 7 or 8. When Mrs Maitland called me out of the assembly and I had to go up in front of all the other children in the junior school (the 5 to 8 year olds). She put her pointy finger-nailed finger under my chin and pushed my head far back upon which she then proceeded to growl at me for the fact that someone else was stealing my lunch. Yes someone else was stealing my lunch and I was the one getting told off!!! I had to put my lunch in her desk drawer for a while after that.

Another teacher I liked was the teacher I had in Form 1 and 2 Mrs Ford. She was an older teacher too. I found her to be very caring. At the end of Form 1 we were on a school bus going on a trip and my wish to be in her class was granted. I told the Form 2 teacher that I wouldnt be in his class. I was pleased. I had never had a male teacher and while he seemed nice enough I was pleased I wasnt in his class. He was a bit strict and would strap the naughty boys. You could hear in my classroom and that was enough for me!!!

I was caught holding hands with a boy in Mrs Ford’s class though. We were asked if we had too do that in class and made to write out lines. The boy got the ultimate payback on me though. At the social ball (when wed practise for weeks then have a dance one evening) it was the girls pick. I picked him. We had to make up a dance and he choose to dance like an Egyptian. Everyone was looking at us and we had to dance right across the dance floor like this

I was highly embarrassed and left him alone after that.

I’d love to find out where my teacher I had in standard 2? called Miss Peta Kingston(e) is? She may have been a student teacher I had her for 1 year she was tall, and had long brown hair and she liked the band Fleetwood Mac. I have always wondered where she ended up she was an awesome teacher, whom I’ve never forgotten.

I was teased unmercifully right through primary school. I enjoyed being in the classroom more than out in the play yard. I was an average student. Outside at play time and lunchtime I would hang around the trees trying to shut myself away from the cruelty. I would seek refuge in the library when it was open. I had no friends and very little self esteem. In class I was happy especially when the headmaster came to visit our class. I would sit up straight, smiling and do my lessons. He would always comment about his smiley friend – me. In the last couple of years I have come to realize that this might have been one of the reasons the children treated me so badly. I dont know why I had to be the one they picked on. I wish I had known.

Penrose High School

By the time i got to High School I was a loner. Why bother to make friends when they would sooner or later end up picking on me or leaving me out. I preferred my own company.

I remember having an argument with the dean of my school house, Mr Bettridge He was also the head of science. I was in the end of the 4th form and there was no way I was taking science in the 5th form. I didnt like it. Didnt understand and couldnt remember things like the periodic table. Nor did I care what he thought. I think it made him look good to have most of the 5th formers in our school house doing science.

5th Form was a special year at school.  People would sit there School Certificate and this helped getting a job after one left school.  I just passed in my subjects of English, Maths, Typing, Geography and Home Economics.  I wish Id taken wood work but my parents didnt think it would be of any use.  I was also about the only girl whom took it in the 3rd and 4th forms. I dont know how most of the subjects have been of any use.  Maths at high school level was like a second language.  I was a slow typer and Ive never used what I learnt in Geography.

Id always done well in English.  I always LOVED English.  So much so that the year I left school and started working I did a night class.  I got my 6th Form certificate in English.

Auckland College of Education

Fast forward many years, a marriage, a separation, 2 children, being a solo mum for  6 years and having home schooled one of them for 2 and 1/2 years.  I started going to teachers training college when I was 32.  I had always wanted to be a teacher.  I loved preschoolers.  I won a scholarship for the first years fees (which I ended up   spending kind of when I decided to go part time for the last year).

I aced (got full marks) in maths.  This surprised everybody including myself.  I never understood maths at high school.  However, I believe having a lecturer whom made maths fun and interactive was the key.  Shiree Babbington was a fabulous easy to get on with tutor.

I still felt left out amongst my class mates somewhat.  Lunchtimes would see me alone some of the time.  I didnt really bond with any of the others that closely.

I loved going out on the field.  To daycare centres and kindergartens and doing on the job training.  In the first year and 2nd year we went twice for 2 weeks at a time.  In the last year we did a month.  I learnt a lot in these practicums.

I LOVED going to university.  I felt it gave me a lot more self confidence. I believe Auckland College of Education was and is the best teachers school in New Zealand.  It has since joined the Auckland University this happen the year I left.  I did 6 months by correspondence down here in the Bay.  After 3 and 1/2 years I gained my bachelor in Early Childhood Education.  Something that people do ask me these days is if I feel I have wasted these years now I am home schooling.  I dont think I have.  I believe the time at Uni gave me a deeper understanding of children.  I always knew Id be a teacher (even from a very early age) I just never thought Id be a home schooling teacher but I enjoy it.  I also think its important that my student makes something of his life.  I dont think this would have happened had he been left at school.



  1. Hi Jen, thanks for sharing about your school life! Very interesting! Sorry to hear about the nasty episode with the boy and kids at school. You’re doing very well now. 🙂

    thanks Alice

    Comment by Alice Teh — August 6, 2008 @ 12:21 am |Reply

  2. Very cool Jen, you are an inspiration.
    I know with Madi that kids can be very cruel, she still has a lot of baggage. There is no explaination for it I think. Sad though.

    It can affect you for ages afterwards I think

    Comment by Hay — August 6, 2008 @ 9:11 am |Reply

  3. ohgosh, i am thinking that every kid in NZ who grew up in the seventies/eighties made one of those wooden birds!
    love that you are loving your days X

    thanks Katie I like my wooden bird though 🙂

    Comment by katie — August 6, 2008 @ 1:29 pm |Reply

  4. Your history is so touching and lovely to read, Jen. Mean old Mrs. Maitland! I’m scowling at her for you. 🙂

    LOL thanks Gretchen

    Comment by Gretchen Hanna — August 7, 2008 @ 2:27 am |Reply

  5. I enjoyed reading about your school days and could relate to the being treated meanly parts. I love your wooden bird! What a neat project!

    thanks Melissa. I would love to be able to still do woodwork

    Comment by Melissa Markham — August 10, 2008 @ 3:36 am |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: