Our Teachers (Kaiako)
Vicky - Lead Kaiako
- Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
"I recently qualified with bachelor of teaching through Te Rito Maioha.
I have a strong passion for building relationships, and working alongside whānau to get to know their tamariki. I recognise each child as an individual where they are given opportunity to contribute to their own learning experience.
My husband and I have two children, Katie and Maddy. I am excited for both Maddy and I to be joining the Geckos family and meeting all our new families. On the weekends you will find our family being active by going for walks and bike rides, or heading to the beach during the summer"
Aisha - Kaiako
- Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
"Kia ora Koutou,
Ko Tara Tara te maunga
Ko Wainui te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Kenana te marae
Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi
Ko Ngāti Kahu te hapu
Ko Aisha Karena ahau
My name is Aisha and I am 25 years of age. I have two ataahua tamariki, Kylah-Rose who is 5 and Naeson who is 1, who also attends Little Geckos. Myself, my partner Hobson, and my tamariki live rurally in Towai, where we operate a small family farm. We have four dogs, one chicken, five cows, and fifteen sheep. We are always busy! I have a strong passion for te reo Māori and tikanga Māori and being able to share knowledge whilst also gaining knowledge and immersing tamariki within Māori culture, traditions and values. I have just completed my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, and I cannot wait to begin my journey as a provisionally registered Kaiako. My time spent learning about tamariki and working alongside them has enhanced my passion for early childhood. I am super excited to have joined the Little Gecko’s whanau and to be able to build strong foundations with you and your tamariki."
Samara - Kaiako
"Kia ora. My name is Samara.
I have a background of over 20 years experience working with children. I have spent time traveling overseas working as a private nanny and maternity nurse. I returned home in 2013, with my husband, Shane. Where I was lucky enough to join the ECE world. In 2016 our son, Lochlan, joined us and our world got busy.
I have a strong focus on respectful practices and communication. I am passionate about children being competent and capable learners and that they are able to learn and grow in their own time.
Outside of work, you can find me camping with family and friends, hiking and exploring the wonderful country we live in.
I look forward to meeting you all soon."
"Kia Ora my name is Louisa and I am the newest member of the Little Geckos team having just moved to Whangarei from Mount Maunganui and prior to that Auckland. I have a graduate diploma in ECE which I completed at NZ Tertiary College and have been working in ECE since the beginning of 2019.
I absolutely love working with tamariki, especially infants and toddlers and it is such an incredible feeling knowing that I am excited to come to work everyday! Seeing all the tamariki beautiful smiles and hearing their giggles just brightens up my day! I am passionate about supporting tamariki to build their confidence and enabling them to understand that they are capable and confident little people. It is is so lovely to see the excitement and wonder that they find in the most simple of things and this encourages me to see things from a different perspective too. It is so special witnessing them grow and develop, to be a part of their learning journeys and to be involved with significant milestones. I have a calm and gentle approach to my teaching practice, I get down to the children's level and ensure that they know they are safe and secure when in my care.
I am also passionate about health and wellbeing and have a lot of interest in how this can translate into the ECE environment. I particularly enjoy learning about brain development and how significant the early years of life can impact future development. As well as my ECE diploma I have a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and love being creative. You will often find me drawing, painting, singing and dancing with tamariki and encouraging them to express themselves.
Outside of the centre I enjoy being active, cooking healthy meals, drawing and painting and spending time with family and friends.
I am looking forward to meeting to you!
Monique - Kaiako
"Kia ora koutou. Ko Monique toku ingoa.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) from Open Polytechnic in 2020. I have 3 grown up children who were all raised in Tikipunga, Whangarei where we have lived for over 25 years.
I have a passion for infant and toddler education and am so excited to start my early childhood journey as a provisionally registered teacher at Little Geckos. I believe that building strong relationships with tamariki and whānau helps ensure the best care and education for tamariki.
In my spare time I enjoy being part of several local musical groups. I love sharing my love of music with the children with lots of singing.
Sarah - Kaiako (on maternity leave)
"Kia Ora Koutou, Ko Sarah Apaapa toku ingoa.
I have lived in Whangarei for my whole life, I am currently living on a lifestyle block in Matarau with my husband Kyle and our many pets, which keep us very busy!
I have worked in ECE since 2008, over this time I have developed a passion for working alongside infants and toddlers.
I have a strong interest in learning about infant's brain development, so this year I am studying towards a postgraduate diploma in infant and toddler learning and development.
I look forward to getting to know each child and their whanau, feel free to come see for a chat or to ask me any questions!
Zoe - Lead Kaiako
"Hello whānau and tamariki of Geckos. My name is Zoe and I am the new teacher at Geckos-The Nest. I look forward to meeting you all! I have been in early childhood for 7 years now and I am excited about Geckos being part of my teaching journey. I will also be making myself familiar at Little Geckos for when your little gecko is ready for a new environment to explore and can be greeted by a friendly face at The Nest to help make this transition a happy and exciting one.
It is going to be an absolute pleasure creating a special place for your children to play, learn and grow, I can’t wait!"
"Kia ora koutou,
Ko Arthur te maunga
Ko Wainui te awa
Ko Motueka te waka
Ko Menzies te iwi
Ko Sarah German ahau
No Te Taitapu, engari e noho ana i Whangarei inainei.
Hi everyone, my name is Sarah, I am originally from the South Island but now I live in Whangarei with my husband James and our bunny Cornflake. I have a Bachelor in Teaching (ECE) through Te Rito Maioha. I have been teaching in Early Childhood for 5 years, the majority of which was investing into a big passion of mine - nature education. This experience and growing up on a farm,
has helped me to understand the positive impact exploration in, and a connection to nature, has on tamariki and their learning.
My mission as a teacher is to empower children to be strong in their identity and connected to their community. I believe developing positive relationships which connect children to their heritage and community is an important aspect of this.
I love to have fun, laugh, play, get dirty, create, dance, sing, and immerse myself in nature. My
biggest passion is for children to know that they are loved and cared for and that they can make a difference in the world. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your beautiful tamariki!"
Demi - Kaiako
"Kia Ora, My name is Demi and I am a teacher at Geckos - The Nest.
It has already been such a wonderful journey joining the Geckos family and I am very passionate about seeing your children learn, grow and achieve new skills.
I wish to provide your children with a happy friendly environment where they can be their own individuals."
Georgia - Kaiako in Training
Ko Georgia tòku ingoa.
I am a kaiako at Geckos - The Nest.
My mum, who is an ECE and primary school teacher inspired me to become a kaiako and my passion for working in the crucial early learning years was affirmed when I became a nanny 8 years ago. Since then I have worked with many beautiful tamariki and whānau in different early childhood centres in Auckland and Whangārei.
Last year I decided I was in a good position to study towards a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and I am thoroughly enjoying this new learning journey.
Central to my teaching philosophy is the belief that tamariki are capable individuals and should always be treated with respect. I strive to provide an environment which is inclusive, safe, engaging and fun.
I particularly enjoy facilitating science and art concepts and I have enthusiasm for sustainability and encourage kaitiakitanga.
I live with my partner Jesse and our beloved dog Kobi. We are currently looking to buy our first home in Whangārei. When I am not studying I look forward to practicing photography, being outdoors exploring our beautiful country and spending quality time with my whānau.
I am so grateful to have this opportunity to develop my pedagogy alongside the amazing kaiako here at Geckos-The Nest.
I looking forward to getting to know you and supporting your tamariki to be a confident lifelong learner.
Nga Mihi, Georgia."
Jess - Lead Kaiako
"Kia ora Koutou
Ko Pouerua te maunga
Ko Waitangi me Waiaruhe e nga awa
Ko Nga Tokimata Whaorua te waka
Ko Nga Puhi te Iwi
Ko Ngare Hauata te hapu
Ko Remana Kiwikiwi te tupuna
Ko Jess Malcolm ahau
Kia ora, I'm Jess and I have been a qualified teacher since 2013, and have many years experience in the educaton sector.
I am very passionate about empowering our future generation, learning and laughing alongside them.
I am lucky enough to have spent many years over seas and in Wellington before returning to my home the sunny north.
I have two sons, Clark who is in primary school and Bowen, who is enjoying attending The Nest.
When I'm not teaching you can find me with my family and friends exploring, beaching and drinking coffee.
I look forward to meeting you.
Nga mihi nui,
Alana - Kaiako
- Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
Ko Takitimu te maunga.
Ko Oreti te awa.
Nō Waihopai ahau.
Kei Whangarei tōku kāinga noho.
He kaiako ahau.
Ko Alana tōku ingoa.
No reira, tena koutou katoa.
I moved to Whangarei after I graduated from university. Although I was born in Australia, I have lived most of my life in Invercargill, which I have been told is quite obvious from the way I say my ‘R’s’! I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of my Geckos whānau since 2016. In that time I have learnt a lot from the kaiako, tamariki and whānau and have developed a strong sense of belonging here in Whangarei.
You might say that early childhood education (ECE) runs in my family as both my Mum and Grandmother worked in ECE. Having brothers that were so much younger than me also inspired my passion for ECE as I had the opportunity to help them learn and grow.
I love being creative, especially in visual arts, which I share with our tamariki. You might find me seated at the art table drawing or painting with our tamariki, or inventing my own interpretive dance moves!
I asked our tamariki what they liked about me as a teacher and they replied “you’re funny” and “sometimes you’re silly”. What can I say… I do like to have a laugh, especially since they make me feel like the world’s greatest comedian! Some of my favourite moments at Geckos have been sharing a joke and a laugh with our tamariki.
I hope to give the tamariki that I work with the support, aroha and experiences they need to be lifelong learners who are happy, kind, capable and confident!”
Anneliese - Kaiako
- Bachelor of Arts (Literature)
- Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
“My experience as an active Playcentre mum, followed by my involvement in my
son's Kindergarten confirmed my love for Early Childhood Education and my
desire to support this amazing and crucial period of children's learning and development.
The team at Geckos makes this role all the more special. Our shared love, support and enthusiasm for giving our tamariki our absolute best and creating opportunities for them to lead their own learning, means every day is filled with discoveries, triumphs and so much laughter! It’s a real privilege to be able to share in the ever-evolving joy and wonder of our tamariki’s inner and outer worlds.”