Our community has had the pleasure of welcoming a past student, Amanda Anthony to our teaching Team this year.
Amanda has generously shared her thoughts about life at Karanga Mai. I believe her words sum up what we aspire to achieve...
"Returning to Karanga Mai…I remember my time here as a teenage Mum fondly. It was refreshing to be involved in a learning community where parenthood was viewed positively and relationships were and still are the essence of what sets this community centre/school apart from others. We all know the teachers who we hold dear to our hearts and most of mine I met here at Karanga Mai.
I was somewhat ashamed of my new label ‘teen parent’, the glaring looks and unwanted advice. I’d gone from being quite a reserved person to receiving a lot of attention for having a babe in arms. Well intentioned or not what went unknown to these critics was that becoming a Mum at 17 was my beginning.
With the birth of Katie came a great selfless love which drove me to be more than I could have ever been without the opportunity to succeed here at Karanga Mai. With dedication and determination, from staff and students combined, it really is a place where dreams become reality
With the supportive, nurturing team at your side, it’s not long before you come to realise I am a capable learner, parent, and person and this is what my future looks like…
Gaining enough confidence and credits to attend the University of Canterbury, graduating with a bachelor of teaching and learning and returning to Karanga Mai Early Learning Centre as proud Mum and a teacher. I am grateful to be back here working alongside these tireless unsung heroes, who continue to engage, empower and inspire me.
Empowering and celebrating our young women in their role as parents and advocating for their children is integral to the work we do at Karanga Mai. We are privileged to hear many inspiring stories.
This is Cate’s story. She was 18 when she had her son.
“Louie was born on boxing day 2013. At 4am the time came to push, I remember having more determination than I’ve ever had before, by 5.06am I was holding Louie in my arms. It was the most amazing, surreal feeling ever! There are so many great things about being a mum. I have never felt a stronger bond with someone other than my son. I love how every day is a new day for a baby, even if they’ve been up crying all night you’ll still get big smiles in the morning. I love the snuggles in bed, playtime, feeding, everything, being a mum is just great!
There are challenges; Sleepless nights are hard. It’s also hard being on time! It takes a while getting your head around, not only getting yourself ready, but someone else as well. It’s also very challenging when your little one is sick, knowing they are sore or unwell can be quite heart wrenching at times.”
After Louie was born Kate and Louie’s dad moved in with Cates’ parents. When he was 3 months old Cate felt ready to continue with her education on the provision she could still to be close to, and able to breast feed Louie. All this and an individual programme of study were possible at Karanga Mai. “The centre is an amazing place. Louie loves it and the teachers are so supportive of young mums. They have no judgments.” By the end of 2013 Kate hopes to have enough credits to begin a degree in Social Work at Canterbury University."