Kia ora e te Psychology kaiako,
As a new NZAPT member I felt compelled to write a blog sharing my experience when I found out they were looking for new members; so here we go.
Starting at the beginning of my Psychology journey; many years ago I was a Social Science kaiako who got an opportunity to teach Psychology. It was the first time our kura had offered Psychology and it was apparent very quickly that our akonga were interested. The rest was history. Psychology continued to flourish into the most popular subject in our department (debatably our school) and I stumbled my way through becoming a Psychology kaiako.
I was learning as I went and found comfort in the NZAPT. In 2019 I joined the NZAPT and amongst Covid I started to engage in resources in their drive, I attended a Zoom PL quietly online and even got one kanohi ki te kanohi opportunity at a cluster. These small interactions were often reassuring in my attempts to teach innovatively in this new subject.
At the end of 2022 our three full time Psychology kaiako attended the NZAPT’s Conference in Albany. I engaged in the sessions whole heartedly chatting up a storm to countless Psychology kaiako and by the end of the first day I realized that my kura had pretty large and successful Psychology programs and I felt that I might have something to offer (despite having a lot still to learn). Then, in the final session of the conference I reluctantly joined the committee to ‘shadow’ a member.
I have no regrets about joining. After the first Zoom meeting, I felt confident to move from someone who would ‘shadow’ to a member as the existing members reassured me I would only be doing things that I felt confident in. For instance, I didn’t feel confident with NeX administration but I knew I had some teaching and assessment resources that could be handy. So therefore, I signed up for resource creation and was able to work with a smaller group to develop these together.
As a new member to the committee, I’m often voicing my concerns for the beginning Psychology teachers and the support that they need. Everyone on the committee seems to have their own reason and drive to be involved in the committee, however, collectively we share a passion for supporting the growth of Psychology in Aotearoa.
The NZAPT is really well run and is definitely not stressful to be involved with. They are considerate of each others well-being and boundaries. We meet only when necessary and try to balance workload across those that can manage it. The NZAPT connect really well with my kura to coordinate any release days I need to meet kanohi ki te kanohi. They also ensure that being involved in the committee doesn’t involve any financial stress as they cover the expenses involved and actually have some paid opportunities this year.
Lastly but not least the NZAPT is a great professional development opportunity. Joining the committee has already done wonders for my teaching practice; largely just by surrounding myself with other passionate kaiako. The networking and collaboration opportunities are endless. However, I think the greater learning has been around the funding, policies and processes. It’s insightful to understand how to strategically and sustainably implement goals that make a wide reaching difference for kaiako in need of support.
If you are like me and feel like you’re not an overall expert but know you have something to offer the NZAPT is perfect for you. The committee is currently looking for kaiako who would like to join the committee.
For more information contact the friendly team at NZAPT@hotmail.com