Meet the Teacher

Sam Jardine-Coom, Ponsonby Intermediate

Currently teaching:
Physical Education and Health
Years 7 - 8 (Intermediate)

Number of students:
I am a form teacher to 27 students but I teach half of the school Physical Education and Health.

How did you come to be a primary school teacher?
I am actually trained for high school. Fortunately due to the specialist model of teaching implemented at Ponsonby Intermediate I am able to work in the primary sector. Physical education and sport has always been a passion of mine and at the completion of my tertiary study I wanted to impart my enthusiasm and passion for sport to others.

Where did you train?
Otago University.

What brought you to your current school?
The old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” brought me to Ponsonby Intermediate. Funnily enough, the current Deputy Principal, Matt Bennie, was one of my student teachers when I was at intermediate. It’s a small world.

What are your favourite things about being a teacher?
My favourite things... big question. Witnessing student progress and acheivement is always right up there for me. This could be a student learning and mastering a new skill, or it could be a student having new-found confidence in their own capability. At Ponsonby Intermediate we like to stress the importance of the students hauora/well being, so witnessing the students improve their self-esteem and belief in themselves over the two years we have them is also a favourite of mine. And finally... holidays. Every teacher is thinking it, I’m just saying it.

Highlight of your teaching career?
The highlight of my teaching career to date was making the jump to Head of Physical Education at Ponsonby Intermediate. However, as I have only been teaching for just over three years I am sure there are many more highlights to come.

Low point of your teaching career?
Low point... Everyone has days they aren’t feeling as sharp or as motivated as usual. Occasionally I have had a student or two who continuously tests boundaries and/or crosses them, but I am not sure I would really define any of those as a low point.

How would your principal describe you?
I hope he would describe me as an integral, indisposible member of the team with a very bright future ahead of me at Ponsonby Intermediate. However, what he actually thinks could be another story.

How would other teachers describe you?
Hmm, hopefully the words energetic, friendly and approachable would be in there. Depends who you ask... don’t ask them though.

How would your students describe you?
I would like to think they see me as a fun-loving energetic teacher. Approachable, respectful and thankful could also be on the list as I have a great form class and feel lucky to be their teacher. I’d like to think I have taught my students to be resilient, to think for themselves and to be able to see the bigger picture, so if I have done an effective job role-modelling those behaviours then perhaps I could be in for a positive review from them.