NZEI Te Riu Roa member Kylie Parry, a teacher aide and librarian at St Mary’s School in Carterton, reminisces about her time at Rangiwahia School, a rural school in Manawatū that opened in 1895 and closed for good in 2013. She then chats to the current principal of a rural school up the road from Rangiwahia, Maree Rossiter of Mangaweka School, about what school life is like now.
More than a quarter of New Zealand schools have fewer than 100 students. They are often rural and remote, with minimal infrastructure and fragile economies. For teachers in these places, the challenges are high. How can they provide a rich, varied curriculum with only one or two teachers? How can their students gain meaningful connections with the wider world and overcome their isolation? Ako spoke with teachers who are grappling with these questions and finding solutions through online communities.