Meet our Teachers

We have a fantastic team on board – read below to find out more about them.

Fi Charman Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Fi Charman

Head Teacher – Fulltime

Fi has a background in specialist teaching and has an extensive list of skills including, nature learning, excursions, Te Reo and Tikanga Maori, Health and safety, carpentry, gardening, and music.

Nga mihi Pathways whānau,

I’m Fi (short for Fiona) and I’m an experienced head teacher. Being a kindergarten teacher is the most rewarding career, every day has some new interesting facet… or surprise! And I take the responsibility of caring for these precious personalities very seriously.

I have a background in science and fell into education after I home-schooled two of my children many years ago.

I come from a huge family of Irish ancestry and grew up on an organic dairy farm on the Rangitaiki plains.

Roger and I have just moved to Rotorua and we’ve been overwhelmed with how friendly everyone is.

I’m a sailor in my soul but I’m really enjoying the mountain biking trails here too.

Carina Naude Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Carina Naude

Teacher – Fulltime

Kia Ora,

I come from a child and family therapy background. I practiced as a trauma therapist for 10 years before making a move to ECE, a decision I have never regretted. With both a Masters Degree in Teaching and a Masters degree in Play Therapy, I feel very fortunate as it grants me extensive knowledge about child development and the importance of this for children’s learning within a play based environment. I have extensive experience in building strong and effective relationships with whānau and believe in the child as a whole, involving whānau in the assessment and learning process to ensure the best outcomes for our tamariki.

My teaching philosophy is based around play. My belief is that ultimately, children learn through play and without this, learning would not be possible. I believe my role is as a facilitator of children’s learning and thus put a lot of value on my role as a teacher – but believe that only the child can determine where they are at, and what must happen next. Thus, I value my ability to recognise children’s verbal and non-verbal cues about what they find interesting and what they want to learn from that.

Furthermore, I place high value in guiding children in their social and emotional development. During my recent studies, I completed a research project that looked at how children can support each other’s social and emotional self-regulation within their sociodramatic play. This was a huge success and was published in the Early Education Journal in 2018. This project added so much to my own practice and created an awareness for me about the abilities of children in managing their own emotional and social challenges, with the right guidance from myself, as teacher. It also confirmed the importance of imaginative play and how this really serves as a learning tool in itself.

I pride myself on my sense of humour and sense of fun and find this to be a way for me to connect, not only with children, but also with adults. Having said this, I also know how to be serious at the right time. I look forward to my journey with Pathways Kindergarten.

Helen Morrison Rotorua Kindergarten Teacher

Helen Morrison

Centre Manager and Teacher – Part-time

Kia Ora, I am delighted to be working at Pathways Kindergarten.

I am Australian born but have been living in New Zealand since 2003. I am the second eldest of five children, growing up on a sugar cane farm in Far North Queensland. My husband Craig is Rotorua born and bred and we have two gorgeous young boys, Oliver who is 4, and Jordan who is 2. My 13 year old stepson Hayden also lives with us completing our family.

I graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2006 with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and have since taught in Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand in a variety of primary and early childhood services. My most recent employment was 12 years with PORSE as a Programme Tutor (Visiting Teacher), moving into a Regional Coaching Role. While I loved my job immensely, the travel and time away from my family was a challenge with the boys being so young, so I took a year off to be a full time Mum.

As I re-entered the work force and I was honoured to be chosen to work with the Pathways tamariki and whānau in 2019. Although I have no experience working within a Steiner setting, I am very open to new learning and believe the philosophy sits well with my core values and beliefs. I look forward to my Steiner journey.

Sky Smale Kindy Teacher Rotorua

Sky Smale

Support Teacher

Kia Ora koutou,
Ko Sky taku ingoa, no Rotorua ahau.

I feel so happy to be joining the wonderful families and teachers here at Pathways!

I’m enjoying being back in Rotorua after a decade in Wellington, where I completed my degree in Early childhood education, undertook studies in visual communication and worked at childcare centres.

I am from a family of conservationists, which has had an impact on my passion for the natural world. I love to work on creative projects, gardening, reading… and I look forward to sharing, learning and growing along with the tamariki and team here.

Kirby Cass Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Kirby Cass

Support Teacher

Kia Ora,

My name is Kirby and I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a post grad in Secondary Teaching. I taught art in New Zealand and after traveling and teaching in Istanbul, came home to have my children.

My interests include gardening, art history, travel, cooking, reading and lyenger yoga. I live locally with my husband and two small children where we are restoring an old house and creating a garden together.