The Teaching Tree

Katrina is an artist, author and teacher living in New Zealand. Her writing has appeared in Art New Zealand, Everyday magazine, The Natural Parent magazine and more. She has been writing (play books, teaching resources, online courses, website copy, blogging) teaching (secondary, tertiary and corporate), designing textiles and making art since completing her Masters in Art History and Philosophy in 2002 (first class honours). She was also the winner of the 2022 Shakespeare Film Noir photography competition sponsored by Percy Thompson gallery and she exhibits paintings and creative work annually in various galleries. Katrina has published two educational children’s books “I think I saw a Pukeko” and “If you were a Kowhai” (a book about computational thinking for kids). Her unpublished manuscript “The Lost Button” was the International best manuscript winner in the KBR kids book awards judged by Penguin publishing. (The competition added scary extra weight to the book and she is still procrastinating by doing other creative things). She lives with her man and two children in Taranaki, New Zealand.

When I had my first child in 2010 I realised I needed to write for myself as an outlet.

My thinking and writing is informed/reformed by these things:

1. I think learning should be fun

2. I think kids should not have discovery stolen from them

3. I think learning is lifelong and reading is cool

4. I think life should be experienced in full colour not caring what other people think

5. I think rules are for bending and breaking

6. I think that you don’t have to be good at something to give it a whirl

7. I think dad jokes and bad puns are awesome

I have had lots of jobs that have mostly involved teaching or designing things (artist and teacher) tinkering with things (post-grad facilitator for The Mind Lab and entrepreneur) or a combination of writing things and teaching things. Once I was a model scout in London, once I helped open a FCUK concept store, once I ran a mini fashion business. Lately I am working as a professional learning and development (Pld) provider as an innovation and learning specialist. Mostly my signature style can be (enthusiastically) summed up with lots of hand gestures, drawings, questions and untangling of big ideas weilding a giant pretend brush.

This blog is my outlet for thinking about how people can do things better. I believe people can connect better by reaching out and talking about ideas. Everyone can play an important part in education. Educators and parents can be optimists, tinkerers, thinkers and strategists. I believe in being geeky, sharing ideas and having fun along the way.