The boy from 40 Mile Bush

One of my earliest memories was of having to feed the chooks every morning on the family farm. Mum would make huge batches of scones for the shearers, with jam and lashings of cream; if I was lucky I would get to carry them over to the woolshed. We were brought up with a work ethic where everybody pitched in to get the job done.

The little red school bus would take us to the two teacher school at Makomako near Pahiatua. We would play marbles at lunchtime or build roads under the pine trees with our Tonka toys. Mrs Parsons knew everything that was worth knowing. The school was the centre of the community with calf day and end of year shows; I loved making the sand dioramas complete with trees, ponds, and Fun-ho toys – I wonder what happened to them?

My father travelled up to the Waikato to look at some radical new idea called a hearing bone milking shed of which he built upon his return. Milking 200 cows in the 1960’s was certainly forward thinking. The 5 of us (4 boys and 1 girl) had what would now be called a paddock basher, of course it didn’t actually go when we first got it! We would also build battern houses or tree houses and dam the creek in the summer for swimming

In the 70’s we moved to Palmerston North where my parents purchased a Motel. I started St Peter’s College as a 1st day pupil. I loved Technical Drawing with Mr Tiddy.  I couldn’t quite work out the logic of punching out all those holes in the computer cards and then waiting a week to find the answer to a problem we could do on paper.

I was an active member of the Canoe club with kayaking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Every weekend was an adventure to some remote place. Kayaking crazy flooded rivers and drinking Grappa with the Italian tunnelers on the Tongariro river. Competing at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth games where canoe slalom was a demonstration support was also a great adventure.

I worked for the canoe club as a coach and I was also responsible for teaching the apprentices at the cabinetmaking factory. I was fortunate that I learned my trade making mahogany period furniture and then went on to making NZ architect designed furniture for the new office buildings in Wellington.

After working for myself for ten years I decided to follow my passion for design and teaching completing my Dip. Tchg. In 2001 I spent a year at Waikato University studying Media Design. In 2004 I completed a diploma of specialist teaching and have since gone on to finish my Bachelor of Education. In 2006 I studied towards a certificate of Leadership at Unitec.

I am also the DVC curriculum lecturer at the Waikato University. It is my focus to not only cover the curriculum but to ensure that the focus is on design and programmes of work are big picture problem based. In 2013 I wrote a textbook for Design and Visual Communication (DVC)

I am the Learning Area Leader of Technology at Morrinsville College where we have a great bunch of students and staff that work it an exciting place to work. As the student teacher Liaison person I ensure that the learning needs of our student-teachers are met; I enjoy the weekly conversations that we have about learning.

In my spare time I can be found either reading, cycling, or designing and making furniture. My passion for the Studio Furniture Design Movement has seen me win a number of awards at the National Woodskills competition. My Grandfather was a teacher as is my wife and daughter with our other daughter soon to follow in the family footsteps – that’s four bossy people!

The purpose of this blog is to organise my thoughts and share my journey with others. It is also my aim to load all my department policies and procedures so others don’t have to re-invent spend time on administration when they could be developing their thinking about learning.

Terry @beechEdesignz

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