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Best Job Ever

 Well, I’m no doctor but recent news in the media about sugar is pretty interesting. I quite like the down-to-earth approach Nigel Latta presents in his TV shows, and a recent one about the evils of sugar showed some pretty scary information. A two-litre bottle of Coca-Cola has around 42 teaspoons of sugar in it and is a huge seller.  So how much damage is this — and all the other sugar-rich fizzy drinks — doing to our society? Was that shot of a two or three-year-old child having her teeth extracted under general anaesthetic because they were rotten, heart-breaking or what? Surely feeding children sugar-rich fizzy drink from a young age could be called child abuse?

Anyway, included in our teachings in the Life Education programme are the dangers of sugar-rich drinks and foods and we have been pushing this message for many years now. It’s so great to see this subject being taken up by others in the mass media whose influence will also help us reduce this nationwide, and in fact international, problem. 

At Life Education we are lucky to be able to employ two Educators (fully qualified teachers) who do an amazing job with kids. One of our Educators, Corinne Marsden, has been teaching for us for nine years now and I asked her to put down a few words about why she loves her job — the following makes all the volunteer work we do as Trustees in supporting her so worthwhile:  

Being a Life Education Educator is not one of the best jobs in the world, it is THE best! At least for me that is true. What an amazingly satisfying and rewarding job it is. Why? Because I love working with children. And seeing their faces light up when they “get it” is worth more than their weight in gold.

I love helping them realise that they truly are special, and it’s their uniqueness that makes them so. What fun it is to teach them about how the body works, how we should best look after it, and also discuss exciting stuff like the workings of our poo factories and fart/burp machines!

And how awesome is it to have a giraffe, called Harold, as your closest workmate and companion? A friend who shares your sense of humour and knows exactly what you are thinking? What we learn together is serious stuff, possibly life-changing material, but we do it together in an interactive, caring setting that encourages the kids to take risks in a safe environment, build their self–esteem, nurture resilience and give them strategies to cope with the curve balls that are thrown at us while we are growing up. Teaching students from the age of four to 13 means that I am involved in their growing up, and it is wonderful to see how some students may move from vulnerable youngsters to informed and confident teenagers, knowing that I have been a part of that process.

Just recently I received letters from a class of year 8 students who had come to the end of their journey with Life Education. Below are excerpts from some of their letters:

“I’m so grateful for all you’ve taught me. I remember the axon and dendrites sending neuro-transmitters and the effect of drugs. I’m going to miss lining up outside the Life Education classroom, wondering what we’re going to learn about.”

“I will definitely miss your knowledge and fun activities. Most of all, I will miss Harold, my hero from a young age.”

“I will always remember all the things you taught us about alcohol, drugs, puberty, growing up, the body and the brain.”

“You have made me ‘think before I do’ and helped me to know how to make the right choices in life. I’m going to miss playing all the fun brain games and having a laugh. I have loved the eight years of Life Education and thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“What you taught me will definitely affect the rest of my life and will never be forgotten.”

“I have learned that you should listen to yourself rather than your friends, and we shouldn’t make decisions without lots of information.”

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past, but you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles. You are here now with the power to shape your day and your future.”

These are powerful words from adults of the future.  I have great confidence that our world will be safe in their hands. And I have great satisfaction in knowing that Life Education has been involved in shaping these wonderful people.

Best job ever! 

Barry Kirk-Burnnand, Chair, Life Education

Trust North Shore
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by Channel Magazine