Opportunity for teachers to learn

North Otago Primary Principals’ Association committee member Deidre Senior.

Nearly 150 teachers from schools all over the Waitaki region will be in Oamaru this weekend.

The North Otago Primary Principals’ Association Teaching and Learning Conference is being hosted atSt Kevin’s College on Sunday and Monday.

The two-yearly event started in 2008, as it was too expensive for North Otago schools to send teachers to conferences around the country, so the principals’ association decided to host its own, Weston School principal and association committee member Deidre Senior said.

This year’s keynote speakers are Prime Minister’s Science Award winner Sarah Washbrook, businessman and animator Sir Ian Taylor and psychologist Dr Paul Wood.

Covid-19 was ablessing in disguise when it came to finding keynote speakers, Mrs Senior said.

‘‘We used to have keynotes that came from overseas, but two years ago after Covid we couldn’t do that. So we still had the conference, and what we’ve actually realised is that we’ve got high-class keynotes that we can bring [to the conference] from within our own country.’’

The event was a great way for teachers to meet other teachers from the region, she said.

‘‘It’s a great opportunity for our teachers to network. Because so often now we get siloed into our schools and we’re that busy in our schools we don’t get the opportunity to look out. This gives teachers a chance to be in workshops alongside people that they don’t get the chance to be with very often, or they’ve never met before, or make connections with like› minded teachers.’’

Fifteen schools will be sending their teachers to this year’s event. Alongside the speakers, there will be hands›on workshops for teachers to be upskilled and inspired.

Mrs Senior hoped teachers in attendance would be able to take away some new ideas from the event to implement back at their schools.