Meet Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher

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Job: 

I am a field trip teacher for LEARNZ.

Job description: 

I organise science, geography and social science trips to a variety of places including cities, constuction projects, Antarctica, mountains, glaciers, forests and geologically active areas. In term one you can find your spirit of adventure and join me in Auckland to start a voyage onboard the Spirit of New Zealand 45m ship.

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 web conferences 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 web conferences. 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, mostly in Intermediate Schools. I was in charge of science and outdoor education. I became a LEARNZ teacher in 2009.

Favourite part of job: 

Getting out and about all around exciting and interesting places in New Zealand and meeting people.

Least favourite part of job: 

Paper work.

What I am working on now: 

In term 1 I am preparing for the Spirit of Adventure field trip. Later in the term I will head to Nelson to meet scientists who are studying marine ecosystems and how we can improve the way we manage these precious places.

A quick story about a job well done: 

At the end of last year we had organised our Antarctic field trip. At the last moment the science team we were following had to cancel their trip because the sea ice that they were studying was too unstable. We were then scrambling to find people to work with and despite more weather delays we finally made it to Antarctica. We managed to meet some really interesting people and put together a field trip in half the usual time.

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 a web conference. During the conference a cheeky weka sneaked out from under a flax bush and grabbed one of the ambassadors. After we had finished the web conference 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.

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 cat 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 is one of the LEARNZ field trip teachers. Image: LEARNZ.