Showcase: Dianne Christenson

Thanks to everyone who joined us for drinks at The Fork and Brewer on Friday. A good time was had by all! We look forward to seeing you at The Mind Lab, Petone on 26 May for another wonderful EduIgnite evening. To keep you in the connected frame of mind, here’s the lovely Dianne Christenson from Koraunui School.


1. What brought you to #WellyED? @dianagracenz introduced me to Twitter and to a new group of digital colleagues. As Twitter conversations developed with these people, I discovered #WellyED. Having a worldwide PLN is amazing but it is even better to have local sub-group of educators who you can have occasional face to face get togethers with. It’s a wonderful way to learn and to share best practice and inspiring ideas and strategies.

2. What’s something exciting that’s happening in your sector or in your classroom? At the moment I am out of the classroom and enjoying the privilege of a Science Teacher Leadership Programme. This is facilitated by the Royal Society (@royalsocietynz) and is the best PD I have ever participated in. If every school in New Zealand would take advantage of this opportunity, there would be a ground swell of change in science education. You do not have to be a scientist to do it and you will be matched with a host who suits your interests. It does push you out of your comfort zone, but in a good way. I am being hosted by the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University where I am working on a project looking at the effect of pesticides on bees. I would recommend this programme to anyone out there who teaches up to Year 10. It has reignited my passion for science and science teaching and brought me a raft of new experiences and a wonderful new group of teachers have joined my PLN.

3. Who or what inspires you? I am inspired by nature and by the small wonders which surround us every day. It gives me passion and wonderings to share with my students. Also by the children I teach, their enthusiasm for learning and the awe and wonder which is stimulated by new experiences. I am also inspired by my principal, Barbara Hay, who is willing to look outside the square and be an educational risk taker supporting her staff to try new things. She encourages us to find the positives in our failures (yes I have many) and keep focussing on the future taking the positive aspects forward with us as we strive to do better for our tamariki.

4. What’s your next professional learning goal? To step out of my comfort zone and share my learning with others. As Jane Gilbert says in the Educational Futures Network:

  • Think differently
  • Act deliberately
  • Engage with others differently

I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to this but am developing a belief that making changes in the classroom that work is of limited use if we don’t share this with other educators.

5. When I’m not teaching I’m… Keeping bees, planting trees, working in the garden, making cosmetics and medicines from nature, walking the dog or catching up with family and friends.

Connect with Dianne on Twitter @ChristensonDi, on Google Plus +DianneChristenson, and when she’s back in the classroom in Term 3: @knuicurious and

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