Saturday, 17 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Mercury Bay still has a big place in the heart of Kaiaua School principal

By Jordan Gower

Inspired by a former science teacher, Karlos Bosson chose to follow a career path in teaching. It’s a decision that led him to Mercury Bay, the United Arab Emirates and the Seabird Coast, where he’s at the moment the principal of Kaiaua School.

Karlos grew up in Wellsford and spent a lot of his adult life in Auckland before moving to Whitianga in 2011. “My motivation was to get out of Auckland,” says Karlos. “Plus my wife’s parents had moved to Whitianga and we’d been holidaying in the town a lot and wanted to make it permanent. It took me roughly six years of door knocking and persistence before I finally landed a job at MBAS as a Year 9 homeroom teacher.”

While at MBAS, Karlos was involved in blended e-learning in the classroom and coordinated the school’s aeroplane build programme for two years. “Community member Jim Evans and a friend approached MBAS as they wanted to encourage students to consider aviation as a future career path,” says Karlos. “They wanted to highlight that aviation can be so much more than just flying planes. They needed a teacher to be the link between the community and the school. I just so happened to be keen for something new, so I put my hand up to help out.”

After four and a half years at MBAS and keen for an adventure of a different kind, Karlos secured a two-year contract teaching at a middle school in Abu Dhabi. “I was working with children who didn’t speak any English,” says Karlos. “It was really challenging. But I ended up finding a connection through my Maori culture and that’s how I started building a relationship with the students. For instance, I taught the students to count to 10 in Maori. They actually learned that faster than in English.”

Karlos’s way of teaching and connecting with his students caught the attention of his superiors and he eventually teamed up with the school principal to encourage varying methods of teaching within the school.

During Karlos’s second year in Abu Dhabi, he assumed more of a leadership role in the school. “The team dynamics were difficult because there were teachers from all over the world in the school,” says Karlos. “It really opened my eyes up to how well New Zealand teachers are trained and that provided the inspiration for me to step up in my career.”

“Stepping up” for Karlos resulted in him returning to Mercury Bay Area for a short period of time before assuming a teaching position at Kaiaua School early this year that soon evolved into the principal’s position.

“I want to set high standards and expectations for the students of Kaiaua School to live up to and I’m also focused on being a really visible principal,” says Karlos. “Parents are getting to know me and we’re already seeing positive changes within the school.”

Another focus for Karlos is building up a relationship with the local marae. “I’ve established links with an organisation called EcoQuest,” says Karlos. “They bring university students over from all over the United States to New Zealand to learn about Maori culture and language. The US students we have at the moment have been here for only a week and they’ve already learned a waiata. They genuinely relish Maori culture.

“This is great for our students at Kaiaua School to see because it reinforces what I’m trying to teach them about relating to people through culture.”

“Looking forward I want to make a lasting positive contribution to Kaiaua School and with the help of the amazing team of staff at the school, that’s already happening. There’s no denying, however, at some point in time I hopefully will be able to return home to Whitianga. Mercury Bay still has a big place in my heart.”

Pictured is Karlos Bosson outside Kaiaua School.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.