Kathryn Godfrey , Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
I had my own son in my mid-thirties and was an at home mum until he started school. The interest and passion for my own son’s development inspired me to continue with young children. This was a huge career change for me and one I have always known was the right decision. Being with young children under 5 is richly rewarding, teaching young children is simply the greatest joy and passion I have had in my working career.
How long have you been working in this sector?
It is almost 12 years now.
What do you love most about what you do?
That I am in a wonderful community, with teachers, parents and most importantly our young children. For me teaching has enriched my own life and been extremely satisfying because everything is aimed at further developing young children’s milestones, interests, and is through their own willingness and curiosity to know and explore everything.
What makes Active Explorers Glenfield special?
We have a new centre with a lovely warm and inviting atmosphere, a stable team of teachers and a diverse range of ethnicities. We all learn from each other through respect and knowledge of each other’s cultures. We have a rich bicultural environment that encompasses and embraces Te Reo Maori on a daily basis.
What is your favourite time of the year at the centre?
Mine would be Christmas, as the excitement from our children at this time of year is so incredibly infectious. We have many functions that allow our children to use their own imagination and creative flair when making their parents a gift. I also enjoy any other time of the year when we hold events or functions - like snow being delivered, bike days, and growing our garden days.
What is your personal ECE philosophy
These words sung by the late Whitney Houston express exactly how I feel…
I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride
And let their laughter remind us how we use to be!
For me it is imperative our young children have the opportunity to thrive and learn all the foundation skills they will need when starting school. Early education for our young children empowers them, acknowledges them and gives them a sense of pride in their achievements, a sense of belonging, a sense of being worthy, and a sense that they can achieve anything.
Where can we find you when you are not at the centre?
I love to catch up with my son, family and friends, and I enjoy gardening, and a good book. Most of all I love taking my little dog Zara for long walks at the beach, as not only is it good exercise for her, it is also very peaceful and good for mindfulness.
Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood
Vivi Liu, Preschool Head Teacher
Kia Ora my name is Vivi and I have been teaching for 13 years. I respect and value the diversity of cultures among our children. I believe each child is truly unique and capable confident learners. I live on the North Shore of Auckland with my husband and our fur baby (dog) Buddy. I truly enjoy being out in my garden and watching it grow and thrive.
Mariette Grevers, Infant Teacher
Kia Ora I am Mariette and I have been teaching young children for ten years. I have worked with all age groups and currently with our lovely little infants. I have three adult children, and also three fur (dog) babies. I enjoy spending time with my family and also in my garden.
Nicole Fifield-Smith, Toddler Teacher
Kia ora I am Nicole and have been teaching for ten years with all age groups under five years old. Most of my experience is with toddlers as they are learning and experiencing so much. I love spending time with my husband fishing, walking our dog each day and relaxing together.
Samantha Davidson, Preschool Teacher
Hi I am Samantha but like being called Sam, I am originally from Timaru and moved to Auckland 8 years ago. I love working with young children as everyday brings something different. I enjoy sewing, making my own jewelry beach, dinner, shows and the movies with friends.
Tracey Claffey, Infant Teacher
Hello, I have been working with children for several years and have been lucky enough to work with all age groups and absolutely love working with young children. As an Early Childhood educator I have developed some great relationships with children and parents and I am looking forward developing these more. I am also a mum and have two daughters aged 17 and 14. Most of my spare time is spent with them, and we love being outdoors, at the beach, nature walks and pottering around in my garden.
Jane Dawson, Centre Administrator
Hi I am Jane and I am the administrator at the centre. I have two adult children and a beautiful young granddaughter. I enjoy going to the movies with my daughter and also catching up with my family.
Addy Collins, Centre Chef
Hi I am Addy and a mother of two girls and a childhood carer. I have always had a passion in helping nurture young minds. I combine my own love with food and cooking making sure all our children have delicious and nutritious food and meals while they are here each day. I enjoy being active and playing sports especially tennis.