Mrs Snell is an English, Social Studies, and Media Studies here at Macleans College. She is part of the Kupe Whānau and is also the head of the literacy department. Mrs Snell teaches all the way from Year 9 English to Year 13 Social Studies.
Q: What made you want to teach English at Macleans College?
I always wanted to be a teacher and Macleans is an amazing school, I feel really lucky to teach here. I have a passion for literature, poetry, film… and being an English teacher at Macleans allows me to share these loves with a huge amount of people. I enjoy getting to be there for my students’ creative achievements, seeing them work toward their own goals and reach them, and develop a love of learning.
Q: What are your thoughts about the new English curriculum right now? (Etc, the Year 9 English curriculum being changed).
I’m a big fan of the Macleans College Junior English programme. I’m glad that the emphasis has shifted back to the basics of reading and writing. I know that students who go through this programme will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their future endeavours, whatever they may be.
Q: What do you most enjoy about your job as a teacher?
It’s a huge privilege for me to be able to journey with my students in their own successes and challenges. Everybody has their own story, and I get to experience so many. The student’s joy, courage, perseverance, and creativity are all incredibly inspirational to me. Each and every hour of every day is different, and I love that!
Q: What are your thoughts about the falling literacy rate of New Zealand as an English teacher?
The falling literacy rate concerns me. With that said, I’m excited to tackle this issue in a way that brings about real change.
Q: What was a memorable moment with your students? (Etc, such as a student doing something really meaningful, or an event that changed your perspective on teaching.)
At parent-teacher interviews last year, one of the parents told me that their child had ‘become a reader’. They used to hate reading and now they read all the time, purely because of one book that they’d read and loved. Seeing my students develop an enjoyment for reading is the most rewarding thing for me, because I know it will set them up for life.
4th August, 2023
Written by Mrs Snell, slightly edited by Emma Li
Photography by Emma Li