Emma Hapi loves teaching young children because of their lack of inhibitions.

Mrs Hapi teaches Year 2 students at Brookfield School and enjoys seeing the children's "lightbulb moments".

"I guess I love the successes that children have and being there for those moments when they finally get something after working on it and working on it. You feel like you've had a little bit of a hand in that."

Her classroom is a happy and nurturing environment, and her students have obvious affection for their teacher, some stopping to hug her on the way out.


The Year 2s are Mrs Hapi's favourite age to teach.

"I've had Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 at this school. Year 2 is probably my favourite age because they don't really have those inhibitions they get when they are senior students. They don't get embarrassed easily and they have a really good sense of humour but you can still do a lot of learning with them.

"They are so inquisitive and want to know everything about the world. That's what I love about this level."

Mrs Hapi always wanted to be a teacher but didn't get into the job until she was pushed.

After graduating high school, Mrs Hapi was too young for university and ended up getting a job in administration at a medical centre. She worked there for two years and after continual urging by the doctors at the clinic to get a career, decided to become a teacher.

"When you're little, you always want to be a teacher. You're always playing teacher, lining up your toys in front of your whiteboard.

"I always had a natural affinity towards working with kids. I used to help with school holiday programmes and things like that when I was at high school."

Mrs Hapi came to Brookfield as a beginner teacher six years ago and never left.


"I love the whole atmosphere and environment of the school. It's a busy place and you get to meet a lot of people who have the same passion for kids' learning.

"I'm still learning what makes a good teacher. I've been really lucky in that I work at a school with so many experienced teachers."

Mrs Hapi thinks having a good relationship with the students is the most important thing for a teacher, followed closely by good relationships with the school community.

"It's not just you that takes the core role in the education on these kids, you have to have parents on board to support you, you have to have families working with you to get those results."

Mrs Hapi's top five teaching tips

1. Listen.
2. Be a positive role model.
3. Follow through.
4. Be supported by colleagues.
5. Build a relationship with the community.