It’s a case of many happy returns for Kuranui’s new Team Leader of Mathematics Anna Gibson, who is back in the area where she spent her childhood and teaching the subject which was her first love at school.
Raised in Makuri, just outside Pahiatua, she was educated at Tararua College, before spending two years at Wairarapa College. After studying at Canterbury University on a mathematics teachers’ scholarship for four years, her first job was for Wairarapa Outdoor Pursuits, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
“I loved the leadership and the team building side of it and just seeing students develop and grow. Being able to help them grow and advance, that’s what I love the most, and that’s why I became a teacher. I love seeing the change and actually making a difference,” she explained.
A job teaching maths and P.E at Chanel College soon followed, before moving south to teach at Laurence Area School in Central Otago. Now she has returned to the place she calls home.
“My husband Hamish and I spent three years down south with his family. We then travelled for a year and married before we went overseas. Hamish then got a farm manager job just out of Martinborough. My family is here, so taking the position at Kuranui was a chance for me to be close to my family,” she said.
Gibson started teaching part-time at the college last May and soon got involved with helping the students with extra-curricula activities like tramping, helping to organise the bi-annual activities week and the year 10 trip on the Spirit of Adventure.
“I did some PE teaching last year, but this year is solely maths. For me that’s a really big change – having to trade my sneakers for skirts! I’m extremely passionate about teaching young people and have a very holistic view on education. Having a PE background, teaching maths, and being from a rural background too, really helps to bring the subject to life.
“I’m looking forward to raising the profile of mathematics at Kuranui and build on engagement and relevance to the students. The new Ignite programme for our junior students will help to provide a much more holistic view,” added Gibson.