WelCom August 2020
Whanganui’s Cullinane College kapa haka group awarded a rousing haka at the full school assembly to loved and respected teacher Mrs Joy McLean on Friday, 3 July. Joy was wrapping up nearly 60 years of teaching, the last 19 being at Cullinane.
‘Joy is a woman of faith and believes in the beauty of life and that God has a purpose for everyone,’ Cullinane Principal Justin Harper said.
Always wanting to be a teacher, Joy’s extraordinary gift for those with learning struggles was picked by the principal in her first-ever teaching appointment. Mainstreaming was being introduced into the education system and matched her own belief that all students, regardless of learning capabilities, had the right to experience school life at its fullest. This established a career path taking her into many educational situations, from counsellor for education psychological services, to seven years teaching at the Felix Donnelly Youth Link Family Trust College in Auckland, to teaching special-needs students.
‘I always worked towards my classrooms specifically being warm and welcoming enabling the students to feel safe and for me to gain their trust. Nurturing a friendly classroom atmosphere helped students to be comfortable to learn. And many did achieve NZQA level 1 and go on to find meaningful work,’ said Joy.
‘I never dreamt I would last so long in teaching, but I’ve loved every minute of it.’
To the students on her last day on a school campus Joy said, ‘if you see me out and about don’t forget to say hello’.