Miss Vogels is a Social Studies and History teacher at Macleans. She is part of the Kupe whānau. Miss Vogels teaches from Year 9 social studies all the way to Year 13 scholarship studies.

Q: What made you want to teach Social Studies/History at Macleans College?

Social studies covers some of the most influential stories from human history, as well as the big issues humanity faces today. Being able to learn from these stories and to use their lessons to make intelligent, ethical decisions about the future is an essential skill for every student here at Macleans. This is what makes social studies a very important subject! I wanted to teach it at Macleans because of the school’s reputation for producing well-rounded students – and for its stunning location!

Q: What do you most enjoy about your job as a teacher?

It’s so hard to choose! One of my favourite things is seeing students surprise themselves with what they’re capable of. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking you’re a “C-student” or “not very academically strong,” when in fact you can do so much more with the right support and a bit of effort. I love handing back marks when a student has put in that effort and it’s paid off. In answering this question, I also have to say that I love working with my colleagues at Macleans. The teachers here are so dedicated and hard-working. They care deeply about students – their academic achievement, their wellbeing, their whānau, and so much more. It’s inspiring to work alongside people who are so engaged in their work and so positive, especially given how challenging the profession can be.

Q: What are some issues within the teacher job that you would like to highlight?

The biggest concern for me right now is the difficulties with attracting and retaining quality teachers. At Macleans, we are relatively sheltered from this problem, but most schools in the country are facing significant struggles with staffing. If we don’t do something to improve how we train and pay teachers as well as the working conditions in the profession, it will continue to worsen.

4. What was a memorable moment in your teaching life? (Etc, such as a student doing something really meaningful, or an event that changed your perspective on teaching.)

When I read this question, my mind floods with memories. Teaching is made special by so many small moments throughout the week, even just when my students say “thank you” at the end of a lesson. One key moment in my teaching career was when I learned how important it is to keep a class atmosphere positive. I used to focus more on the teaching and less on creating a friendly environment to learn in. Now I try to make my students feel welcome and encouraged from the moment they step in the room – and I get a lot more “thank you” now too!

July 24th, 2023
Written by Miss Vogels, edited by Emma Li
Photography by Emma Li

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