Meet Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher

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Job: 

I am a field trip teacher for LEARNZ.

Job description: 

I organise geography and social science trips to a variety of places including constuction projects, Antarctica, mountains, glaciers, rātā forests and geologically active areas. In term one you can join me in Wellington to find out about some clever new technology being used to create New Zealand's first Smart Motorway.

Each LEARNZ field trip has background pages so that everyone knows where we're going and what we are going to see. These pages give helpful supporting information and are linked to the curriculum. I am happy to make videos, take photos and organise audioconferences with experts about anything related to your classroom programme.

There are also activities associated with the background pages to further assist your students' learning. Please don't hesitate to share any ideas that you may have that can help us to improve the programme.

On location I am lucky enough to work alongside experts and we talk live to schools during audioconferences. You and your class can feel part of the journey by reading my daily field trip diary, which is posted each evening. From the comfort of your own classroom you can also experience new images and videos, which are updated daily during the field trip.

Work background: 

I taught for ten years and was in charge of science and outdoor education at Tahuna Normal Intermediate School. I became a LEARNZ secondary teacher in 2009.

Favourite part of job: 

Getting out and about all around exciting and interesting places in New Zealand and meeting experts in the field.

Least favourite part of job: 

Office work.

What I am working on now: 

During the first term of 2016 I will be hitting the road to discover more about some of New Zealand's most ambitious and interesting road projects, including the Wellington Smart Motorway and Auckland's Waterview Connection.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

While I was working on the Penguins and Seals field trip on the rugged West Coast of the South Island, we stopped on a corner of the track that gave us cell phone coverage so we could complete an audioconference. During the conference a cheeky Weka sneaked out from under a flax bush and grabbed one of the ambassadors. After we had finished the audioconference I looked for the ambassador and wondered where it had disappeared to. Eventually we found it well off the track after we had scared the Weka away.I learned that I have to be watchful of wildlife during field trips and also to always check that I haven't left something behind.

Qualifications: 
  • Bachelor of Science majoring in Physical Geography
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Diploma of Teaching
Interests outside work: 

Spending quality time with my husband Paul, and our two cats; George and Tommie. I love anything that involves the outdoors and a bit of exercise. I enjoy mountaineering, rock climbing, ski touring, trail running, mountain biking and travel. I am always keen to learn more about our environment and how we can protect it for future generations.


Shelley enjoys a spectacular day in Antarctica during the Science on Ice LEARNZ field trip. Image: LEARNZ.