Celebrating Vision, Heart, Competence and Spirit in our 40th year

Celebrating Vision, Heart, Competence and Spirit in our 40th year

Justine Merrylees

August is Values Month at NZTC – a special time for the college as we celebrate the four values that underpin everything we do. A week is dedicated to each value and time is spent reflecting, engaging and sharing stories of how our NZTC community exemplifies Vision, Heart, Competence and Spirit.

All of the NZTC values are interconnected and complement each other.

“It is exhilarating to have Vision but without Heart, this could be cold and not connected to who we are. It is vital to have Heart but without Competence our hearts have wonderful hopes but they do not come to fruition in a sustainable way. It is critical to have Competence but without Spirit, the essence of who we are as individuals, and an awareness of our passion and purpose in life, we will never reach our full potential as an individual or as a team,” shares Chief Executive Selena Fox.

In this first week of August we focus on the value of Vision. A value that motivated Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) graduate, Justine Merrylees, to pursue a teaching degree which in turn shaped her teaching philosophy.

After teaching in early childhood for nine years, Merrylees decided to pursue a formal qualification to fulfil her Vision of providing the best outcomes for tamariki.

“You can see the difference getting a degree makes to your teaching practice and the confidence it gives you. Studying has encouraged me to be more reflective and consider what biases may influence my teaching and those around me.”

Guided by providing a positive learning environment for children to thrive, Merrylees says her teaching philosophy has evolved over the course of her studies.

“My Vision is to create equitable opportunities, empowering children and families through positive experiences and affective teaching practices. I believe upholding mana and creating equity for children and families means recognising their capabilities and seeing their potential realised, seeing tamariki as their own experts.

“I can see the powerful position that kaiako hold, so to build authentic relationships with tamariki and whānau, means respecting and valuing what knowledge they bring with them to the early childhood environment.”