I was born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand. the 2nd Child, 1st Daughter and only daughter (don’t let that fool you) Older Brother (favourite) and a beautiful younger brother (an Angel only lent).
I did lots of activities as a child, I’m sure if we could afford it, I would have done more!
· Brownies
· Swimming (every Friday night to keep us going into town)
· Athletics
· Netball
· Kea Leader
We lived in a cul-de-sac all the neighbourhood kids would meet after school and weekends, for backyard cricket, tag, roller-skating or just riding our bikes, until the sun went down. I used to baby sit the children next door, “ the good old days”.

My parents worked very hard for everything they had; I thank them for that. It taught me to value everything we had, some of their favourite saying were:
· “Money doesn’t grow on trees”
· “you don’t get anything for free”
· “Keep your room tidy” I’m not sure that was a saying though!
· “Do not air your dirty washing in public”
I loved school, which is funny now that I look back, I hated any reading activities, or anything that made us sit still for too long, but I loved my teachers, and I loved my friends. As I said hated reading, if I could get away with someone reading a story to me or not actually reading I would!

While at school, I got involved in anything I could, I loved learning new skills and activities, sports, except singing…. I am tone deaf, don’t ask me to sing ANYTHING!
I am not sure why, but I used to run away from primary school. I think it was frustration, feeling overwhelmed and a bit lost. I thought I wasn’t bright enough, I always seemed to not quite get what the teachers were talking about. I don’t know if it was because we lived so close to the school or if I just wanted some attention, I believe my teachers and parents, thought it was all about attention. Which surprise me now as I really do not want to be the centre of attention in group of people I do not know well, only with people (friends) I can truly be myself.

I remember a big group of us kids at primary school meeting and playing Bull Rush all the time. We used to play on terrace that were off bounds, no one was meant to play on them. One day three boys and I got caught, that year I was known as the only girl to get the strap. Just seeing how far I could push the boundaries.

When I was 10 years old and during the August school holidays, I was out on our street riding my bike despite being told that morning by mum to stay around home. Mum went to work, Dad was in the Garden, no one was watching, so I took off on my bike to the local shops, with 3 other friends, pushing boundaries again, this time it backfired. I got hit by a car and ended up being put into an ambulance. I had shattered my pelvis and broke my femur in two places, I spent 3 ½ months in hospital. My parents were not impressed, but I had received the worst punishment every, stuck in a bed till I mended.

I want to examine what is out there to aid learners who have learning challenges and the many more to come, to be the best they can be. I would like learners to be comfortable about sharing their learning challenges, learn about how they can overcome them and go on to be successful. It has now been confirmed after many years that I do have Neurodiversity (Clouder et al., 2020) an umbrella term that incorporates many learning difficulties, on reflection I probably did not realise that I had learning challenges and nor did I seek out support, but rather I became incredibly skilful in utilising “work arounds” and my own strategies to overcome.

I find it hard to work out who my role models are; I believe I learn from everyone including Parents, Teachers, friends, and peers. I watch observe, taking in the bits I like and not the bits I don’t like, and use them when I need to. I like to watch and learn visually learning, then doing it is my go-to. This explains a lot especially as now I know I am Neurodiverse.

The strongest values I remember in our house were those of hard work, loyalty, cleanliness, and honesty. If you want to get ahead in life, you had to work hard.

Working was important and, in those days, you could pick up a job very easily and switch job very easily also – Higher education was not on the top of their list for me, I did not really know what path in life they expected me to choose. I thought I want bright enough to go into Higher Education, so didn’t think it was an option.

I left School I was in the 6th Form after gaining School Certificate in 5 subjects. That’s level 1 in NCEA, looking back I was a high school dropout, not that I thought that at the time. I do not remember thinking at the time that I did not have a plan but looking back I really did not.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, or where I want to be. My High School really tried guide me, they wanted me to gain University Entrance, but I was ready to leave educationally learning so they helped by getting me Job experience and a job in a Retail store, I was good at talking and following rules. I loved this! I went on to work in a Bank for years.

I am now happy marry to my adorable husband Wayne and have two adult children Anna & Luke; I couldn’t be prouder of them all.
I am teaching and learning more about myself and my learners and loving every single minute of it!

I look forward to sharing more about my journey with you all if there anything I can help with just let me know :).

Reflection and Learning
I like to watch and learn from others; I like to fix my own mistakes so I can learn from that. I like to teach other skills that they might not know, or actually a fast more efficient way of doing things.

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