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Kristina Crouch

Educator - Learning Leader  

Work experience

Jan 2015Present

Assistant Principal

Rotorua Primary School

Responsible for school-wide curriculum design, implementation and management, with oversight of all professional learning programmes both for students and teachers, whilst also monitoring student progress through our assessment and evaluation systems. Responsible for regular reporting to the Board of Trustees on school wide NAG data and progression towards National and School wide targets.

To support and guide staff towards more clarity and cohesiveness in Te marau a kura (localised curriculum). Specifically focussing on the identification, tracking and evaluation of priority learners and their programs of learning.

Lead change across the school in relation to modern learning pedagogy and innovative learning spaces.

Assist in the maintenance of the School's Charter contributing to its design and strategising how the document can live within the school's environment.

Lead the English mainstream school Years 0-8 

To assist in the communication of future focussed re-visioning for the Kura. Working closely with local iwi, external agencies and internal staff.

Within the SENCO role, support students with additional learning and behavioural needs through the provision of modified learning supports, IEP facilitation, professional development opportunities for staff and/or whanau support. The SENCO is responsible for the management and leadership of the school's iwi funded Learning Support Centre and staff with regular stakeholder meetings with trustees from the Ngati Whakaue Endowment Trust.  The SENCO works strategically to implement and promote PB4L practices both inside and outside of the classroom. To support the design of a multi-tiered school wide system for behaviour management.  Liaise with external agencies in order to formulate and implement plans of intervention for at risk youth. Supporting the Board of Trustees with policy review specific to student wellness. Providing pastoral guidance and care to all students within the school.

Nov 2013Dec 2014

Principal - Te Kura Uira - Digital School of The Cook Islands

Ministry of Education - Cook Islands

Job Description

  • To lead, co-ordinate and facilitate the national on-line learning community.
  • To ensure the ongoing development of resources for the programme
  • To ensure that the online learning of a student contributes to a culture within the student’s home school where learning is highly valued by all members of the community
  • To provide professional direction to the work of others by encouraging initiative and innovation in classroom practice.
  • To develop, understand and implement quality policies and practices for the  effective management of the school post pilot stage.
  • To manage staff so as to maximize student learning opportunities. To ensure all online students are receiving pastoral support.
  • To develop an ethos in staff to strive for continual improvement through on-going professional development, reflection on performance and evaluation of their teaching
  • To represent and act for the programme as the programmes leader both within the Ministry and in the wider community
  • To maintain and manage the programme’s finance, assets and a safe work and learning environment
  • To comply with Ministry of Education instructions, relevant statutes and regulations (where applicable), and with monitoring reporting requirements

The most challenging duties typically undertaken by the Principal/Manager Te Kura Uira Pilot include:

1)The total responsibility for the management of the Pilot including understanding the responsibilities and requirements of the position, managing staff and students, and maintaining an effective and current knowledge of educational theory and practice.

2) Creating a vision for the programme and articulating this in a manner that staff, students, Ministry of Education and the wider community can understand.

3) Effective and current educational leadership and management – including ability to plan strategically, be innovative, and respond to new educational initiatives and practice.

4) Keep abreast of technological change and developments and how technology can be utilised as an enabler for quality learning and teaching

5) National monitoring of student achievement requires the ability to analyse and interpret students’ achievement data and use it to inform intervention strategies.

6 Creating and maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.

7 High level of effective human resources management skills which encourages reflective thought and action and supports and maintains high levels of staff performance as well as the retention of highly skilled and effective teachers and support staff.

8 Keeping abreast of best educational pedagogical practice and contributing to a culture of learning with students and staff both in the pilot and in their home school.

9 Visionary leadership which will ensure the maximisation of student outcomes for all.

10 Creating and maintaining a positive reputation for the programme and a learning environment in which all stakeholders have confidence and trust

11) Judicious allocation of available resources (plant, people and equipment) and excellent financial management skills and practice

12) Providing a learning environment which encourages high levels of student retention

Jan 2012Nov 2013

Deputy Principal and Classroom Teacher

Rutaki School - Rarotonga

Rutaki School was an immensely rewarding position that allowed me to focus on developing my leadership skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and ICT while still teaching a Year 5 and 6 mainstream classroom at the school. I was able to gain experience helping staff make sense of their National curriculum and develop a language of learning shifting from a teaching organisation to a learning organisation that promotes deeper learning through the medium of their own language.

Rutaki School is a Bi-lingual School  catering for students from Years 0-6. Students learn completely in Cook Island Maori until Year 4 when English then starts to be introduced. I was responsible for teaching at the Year 5 - 6 level completely in English and students would cross classes to continue to receive Maori instruction from the School's principal. I would also take the Years 3 & 4 for mathematics. The school roll was 102 students during my time there and I was diligent in my responsibility in supporting the principal with the management of 4 classroom teachers, 3 teacher aides, 1 office secretary and a groundsman.

IMPLEMENTING CHANGE is a complex process that requires thought and insight from a leader within a school. By helping teachers at Rutaki School to better understand the overarching themes, principles and values of the Cook Islands Curriculum we could focus our efforts in an area we collectively decided would benefit the school, students and anau the most. By unpacking the curriculum we were able to begin to develop a common language of learning for our staff, students and in the future, our community.

ASSESSMENT was a huge focus for the two years I was at this school where we revised the manner in which we gathered, stored and used data to analyse student achievement and use it meaningfully for positive projections in the future. Teachers were introduced to school wide moderation in assessing Maori and English writing levels. This professional development was lead by me and supported by outside literacy advisers.

REPORTING to parents about a child's learning journey with more integrity and in a positive fashion was another focus for our school during the two years. In the second year after introducing a new reporting structure and by simplifying the language we used helped our parents to better understand where their child was sitting in respect to the curriculum levels. This in turn helped the parents' motivation to support the students more at home. With an improvement in our reporting practices and standards we observed  greater turn out of parents to parent - teacher evenings as well as an increased involvement in PTA fundraising events and school sports day.

MATHEMATICS It is my belief that while a Principal or leader within a school is important in driving change they cannot do it alone. Fostering strong, respectful relationships is integral. Utilising a range of tools to improve the ability of our classroom teachers to implement the Numeracy Project was a challenge. I asked for goals to be set by each individual teacher and we assessed and reflected on each classes data as a group. Classes were modelled at each strategy level and classes were attended on effective numeracy practice. Facilitating strong support scaffolds for all staff at different levels is paramount to ensure everyone moves forward together.

SCHOOL COMMUNITY AND RELATIONSHIPS Through a commitment to open dialogue and mutual respect teachers felt listened to and could express their concerns and challenges in their classroom. Management could then support them using both resourcing and or human resourcing where we needed to. We noticed that by using a more collaborative team approach to improving classroom practice teachers felt a greater sense of support and success in the area of mathematics teaching.

ICT During my time at Rutaki we managed to secure the use of 10 Ipads to use within the small school. Professional Development around these new tools was informal and in the first year, allowing teachers to explore the possibilities and let the students govern how they could be used in a given curriculum area. By using my international connections in e-learning my Year 5 - 6 ESL students regularly connected with other classrooms around the world. This afforded them a grand opportunity to connect with the wider world and ultimately practice their oral English language.

OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES:

- supporting training teachers through mentorship for 6 months

- facilitating the teacher aide meetings by keeping minutes and acting as a sound board back to the Board and Principal.

- Collaborating and supporting classroom teachers with the assessment of children with special needs as well as the construction and implementation of Independent Education Plans

- First Aid supplies and training

- Library

While offering service to Rutaki School I enjoyed many community partnerships by supporting the school soccer teams, netball and athletics. The Cook Islands community was warm and receptive. They were constantly pro active in encouraging my acquisition of the local language and customs and I am proud to call myself an intermediate speaker of Cook Island Maori. I regularly visited families at home who wanted to speak about their child's learning but did not have the means of getting to the school. Being a sensitive and morally focused leader I worked with Cook Island Police, Social Services and Teaching and Learning Advisers at the Ministry of Education to ensure that the welfare of staff and students was always paramount.

Jan 2010Dec 2011

Classroom Teacher

Hilltop School, Taupo

Responsible for a Year 5 and 6 class. During my time at Hilltop School I was responsible for the delivery of a quality cross-curricula classroom program that was sensitive to the social, cultural and academic levels of the learners.

I enjoyed strong relationships with staff members working collaboratively on sporting and ICT initiatives within the school.

A strength was the partnerships I developed with both my pupils and the family community of the school.

Education

Jan 2017Nov 2018

Post Graduate Diploma - Educational Leadership

The University of Canterbury

This Postgraduate diploma focuses on the competencies required for effective leadership and management.

It is suitable for those already holding leadership and management positions in schools and centres and for those planning future promotion, particularly aspiring principals and head teachers. Students may proceed to the Master of Education on completion of this Post Graduate Diploma.

Mar 2015Nov 2015

Learning to Grow - Leadership Course

Academy for Collaborative Futures - Dr Vikram Murthy

The focus of this programme is to assist talented, high-performing school leaders to further enhance their capabilities, increase their impact and influence and build robust relationships.

Skills

8
Learning Management Systems
Canvas, Moodle.
4
New Zealand Maori
6
Cook Island Maori
8
Teaching English as a Second Language
8
Distance Learning
8
Instructional Design
10
Classroom Management
8
Curriculum Design
6
Staff Development
8
Teaching
8
e-learning and innovative practice

Certifications

Grade 8 - Speech and Drama

New Zealand Speech Board
Another extension of Kristina's varied skills and talents. public speaking, school plays and the performing arts was a strong endeavor of Kristina's throughout her own schooling and has been used extensively throughout her career in education. Another dimension that reflects her flexibility to tailor programs suitable for a range of learner styles and interests.

Grades 1 - 6 "Classical Guitar"

Trinity College of London
Kristina is a keen musician and has, over the years spent time as a private music teacher. She has also used these skills in her classroom and school performances. A fantastic addition to a school's extra-curricular endeavors.

U-Learn Presentations

As an experienced collaborator and educator. Kristina has been involved in delivering presentations to Kiwi teachers two years in a row on the use of Skype in the classroom to extend the learning opportunities for the ESL learners she teaches. Kristina collaborates with a wide range of educators from around the Pacific and works closely with an Auckland teacher in a project called Over The Back Fence. Find out more here

UNESCO - Presentation to the International Pacific Nations Forum - 21st Century Learning - The Te Kura Uira Project

The following video features Kristina Crouch addressing the secretaries of education from all Pacific Nations on the project Te Kura Uira. A note worthy presentation that provides a model of best practice for blended learning initiatives.

Written Reference from Mrs Nooroa Ingaua - Principal of Rutaki School - Rarotonga

Written Reference from Geoff Wood, Rosmini College, Auckland

Written Reference from - Vicki Needham - Principal of Upper Atiamuri Primary

"I have enjoyed following Kristina's career and have had the pleasure of having professional conversations with her and visiting her in Rarotonga. I would not hesitate to recommend Kristina for any position she wishes to apply for. I believe any school would be very lucky to have such an inspirational teacher and leader in their school."