[Fiona Gibson – ERO Manager, Review and Improvement Services] I was doing some amazing stuff with some amazing people with some amazing kids in a high school, and an ERO team came in and asked some really good questions, and put us on a journey that made what we were doing sustainable. And I thought, “Wow, that’s a pretty cool job that they’re doing.”
[Niki Edwards – ERO Review Officer for the Te Uepū ā Motu team] I loved being a teacher. Loved it. I didn’t think I’d ever leave teaching. Then this opportunity came up and I absolutely love it. It’s humbling; every kura, every kōhanga, every puna, every wharekura we go into is different.
[Darcy Te Hau – ERO Manager, Review and Improvement Services] We’re looking for people with good interpersonal skills because we’re interacting on a daily basis with schools and services. Just being able to establish a good rapport with people is really important, because that can make or break the process really.
[Marieke Whitwell – ERO Review Officer] I’d come out of the classroom, so to speak, two years earlier. And in PLD (professional learning and development) I’d worked with a range of schools, just to build their capability in literacy and strategic development. And the role in ERO seemed almost like a next step on.
[Tagiilima Feleti – ERO Review Officer] I’m a first language speaker of Samoan and so what’s really important for me because it’s important for my family – for my children – is access and participation. They have full access to the curriculum. I’ve seen over the years that there’s always room for improvement. And I feel that ERO is a vehicle to have a lot more of those conversations with schools and teachers about what really works for Māori and what really works well for Pacific.
[Tracey Adams – ERO Review Officer] I really like the lens that ERO has currently around accelerating achievement for those students who need it. And I know that ERO acts as a catalyst for change, so being a part of that was the drawcard for me.
[Lisa Winiata – ERO Review Officer] The induction process was incredibly comprehensive. I’ve been buddied-up with some fabulous evaluators and I’ve been working alongside some teams of people that have vast experience and knowledge that they’ve been able to pass on to me. It’s been an amazing journey.
[Tagiilima Feleti] Essentially I’m the same person, but what has changed is my lens around my own professional capability. And it’s just given me a much more enriched view of education.
[Marieke Whitwell] Fundamentally I think that all of us in education are about children. It always comes back to children and what is working for children and what can we do next to make it better for children.
[Darcy Te Hau] Initially I gave myself five years in ERO. Grab what I could, go back. And then I got into the job and quickly found how amazing it is. Just the variability, so that you get to look at all the different sectors: the early learning space, secondary, intermediate. I’ve been to so many places that you would not normally go to. I just fell in love with the job, you’re just interacting with so many different people on a weekly basis.