Urs’ wonderful presentation on care in teaching is available here.
1. What brought you to #WellyED?
I’ve been attending and presenting at Wellington Edu-Ignites for a few years. I met Philippa at the Ignite evening at CORE in Term 4 last year and it was great to see someone so involved in connecting educators around Wellington. I think we definitely need a shake up down here and a range of ways to connect with each other – it’s always fabulous to hear what others are doing and share what’s currently driving you.
2. What’s something exciting that’s happening in your sector or in your classroom?
My job looks really different from term to term, depending on what is needed. I am currently working more with our teaching team than with students, looking at ways we can all develop our practice. I am really interested in examining key threshold concepts that, once grasped or understood, can drive highly effective teaching. It’s exciting work.
3. Who or what inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by anyone who teaches or leads from the heart, with kids’ learning at the centre of what they do; you can see them straight away – the passion and belief that drives them. I always get caught up and motivated by their enthusiasm and I’m sure their students must feel the same.
4. What’s your next professional learning goal?
Well, as a teacher I strongly believe that I can make a difference for the students I work with. I guess my next learning step is to have the same belief in myself as a leader – that I can make a difference for teachers I work with.
5. When I’m not teaching I’m…
Usually waiting for a bus! I don’t drive, so it’s bus stop benches or shanks’ pony for me. I travel a lot; all of my family live outside New Zealand so I’m usually heading off somewhere to catch up with people. I head to Spain in a few weeks to pick olives with my Pops in his olive grove. I’m also not averse to a catch up in one of Welly’s many wonderful bars.
You can connect with Urs in various ways: Google Plus +UrsCunningham, email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @urscunningham (though she admits she’s not a very present presence on Twitter).