What country are you from?
I was born and raised in New Zealand. My home is called Tairua which is a small seaside village.
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for 14 years with 7 of those internationally. I was lucky enough to change careers when my family and I moved to Tairua. Prior to teaching, I was a dairy farmer, firefighter, and marketing manager.
Do you have any children of your own?
Yes, I have five children. They are all grown up with careers and families of their own. We are never away from each other for too long, as they visit Hanoi and I go home for winter break.
What hidden talents do you have?
I love to sing. I can train working dogs to follow directions using hand signals, this is because I can not whistle. I cook a mean bacon and egg pie.
What new skill are you currently trying to achieve?
I am currently trying to learn the Ukulele. I have never played an instrument before so I am trying to make sure I practice.
Can you share something about your culture that helps you in your teaching?
There is a saying we use ‘pupuri i runga’, it means ‘to hold high’. This is what I want my students to feel as they learn with me.
Hold their heads high when they make mistakes
Hold their heads high as they work through conflicts
Hold their heads high as they make tough decisions
Hold their relationships in high regard
Hold their self-worth in high regard
What do you enjoy doing when you are not teaching?
I enjoy sport. Playing it, coaching it and watching it. When I am not involved in a sport, I am engrossed in great stories, being with friends and exploring small pockets of the world.
Lastly, what do you miss the most from your home country?
My children and grandchildren. Walking in the bush, breathing clean air, playing at the beach and being with my friends. These are all treasures that I look forward to when I go home.