New Head of Middle Syndicate, Meg Feller, says she’ll never forget the words in the advertisement for her job at St Andrew’s College, which said ‘You will start and finish every day feeling excited and empowered’.
“I later told Principal, Jonathan Bierwirth, that’s exactly how I feel. I love it at St Andrew’s and have received great care and support since my induction. I also appreciate how the well-being of staff and students is so highly valued here.”
Meg took over the role from Di Cumming and has enjoyed coming into an established team with good structures already in place. “I’ve been impressed by the strong team identity, and the way in which the syndicate comes together for a range of activities such as fitness, singing, kapa haka and the Syndicate Assembly. A key focus for me during Term 1 has been to develop positive connections with the children in my Year 4 class, parents, and colleagues.”
E-Learning and inquiry learning are among Meg’s key strengths, along with the introduction of new systems which streamline processes and create efficiencies. These are areas in which she is already adding value to the syndicate. “I’ve always been passionate about e-Learning and the way it can engage children in the classroom. In Term 1, I’ve integrated a greater use of technology in my Year 4 classroom and set up Microsoft Teams for the Middle Syndicate teachers, so we can communicate more seamlessly in the cloud environment.”
When it comes to leadership, Meg says her style is approachable and relaxed. “I acknowledge and celebrate the diversity in the team, and the different strengths each teacher brings. Teaching is not a job you come in in the morning to start, and finish when you go home. I understand how hard the teachers work, and make sure that they know I’m here to support them.”
Meg started her teaching career at Elmwood Primary School in 1994, before becoming an ICT e-Learning facilitator for 10 years with eTime. In that role she ran ICT clusters in at least 65 in schools in Canterbury, helping children with e-Learning, and running professional development for teachers. She also presented at various national conferences around digital learning and was involved with the Digital Kids’ Congress initiative when it was running.
For the six years prior to coming to St Andrew’s, Meg was the Year 3–4 team leader at Elmwood Primary School, where she enjoyed the opportunity to guide student teachers. She has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Canterbury on a range of topics, including Literacy, Mathematics, and integrating e-Learning into the curriculum.
Leadership roles aside, Meg is a passionate teacher, and at St Andrew’s College, is teaching a Year 4 class. She says creating a safe, nurturing, and engaging environment for students is a key focus. “I run a busy but calm classroom, with lots of things going on and a happy vibe. Having engaged, excited children who love school and want to come is a major priority for me.”
Keeping parents fully informed and updated is also critical, she says. “I’m a parent of two children myself, so I know how important it is that parents know what is happening in the classroom and are assured we have the best interests of their children at heart.”
While she has enjoyed the various twists and turns of her career thus far, Meg says there is something unique about teaching at St Andrew’s. “It is a special place to work, and after being in the state system for a long time, I appreciate it even more. I know how lucky I am to be here.”
Head of Middle Syndicate Meg Feller, with (left) Year 4 students, Genevieve Bainbridge-Smith and Estelle Russell.