Energetic teacher finds the right balance

By Erika Venter

In terms of his years service at Egmont Village School, Tim Morgan might seem like a school institution for the young students at Egmont Village School, but it is belied by his energetic and creative way of drawing the young pupils into a fun way of learning.

Tim was last week honoured by the school for 30 years of service, and principal Raewyn Rutherford says he is a very creative and innovative teacher.

"There is always something going on in his class. He has established the school's vegetable garden, involving the students in harvesting and cooking the vegetables. He has a Flat Stanley project where the students write to other kids around the world. He had them look at the science behind bread making... there is just always some hands-on interesting experience going on in his class," she says mentioning a few of the ways Tim uses to actively engage his class.

"He has the knack of making learning fun."

Tim says on choosing teaching, it was not a 'higher calling' but that teaching is in his family - two of his three siblings are also teachers. He started his teaching career in Taranaki, his first being at Vogeltown Primary.

He taught at a number of Taranaki schools thereafter including at Sacred Heart High School and Awatuna Primary where he was acting principal and later principal.

He says it was "a bit of a shift" going from high school to new entrants, but that he enjoys teaching "country kids", which is also a positive for him at Egmont Village.

He says initially the plan was to stay at Egmont for five years only. "But, then we settled here, my kids went to school here and then to Inglewood High School...," and now he says he foresees himself retiring at Egmont Village Primary, if "I ever retire".

He says he has many students whose parents he has taught in the same classroom he is in now.

His two daughters, Tammy and Jemma, went to school at Egmont and now also his granddaughter, Elsie (5). "I have always enjoyed teaching at Egmont. It is a great community, very supportive. The staff here has always been long-stayers. It is a great working environment."

He says when asked whether teaching has changed a lot through the years, his answer is "no".

"I always say children still need the same - routines and they like to have fun. At teacher's college, someone said teaching is like flying a kite: if you hold it too tight, the line might break; if you let it go, it would have a moment of freedom before crashing. It is about finding that balance and hopefully I do."

- Stratford Press

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