Our Team

Our teachers are selected for their passion, their ability to work with children, background and qualifications.

"The best teachers are those that show you where to look but don't tell you what to see."

 Alexandra K. Trenfor

Jan Beatson, Manager

 

Jan has been involved in Early Childhood Education in for nearly 40 years. She initially established Play and Learn to provide high quality education and care to children in low socio economic areas. 

 

Jan is currently working towards a Master of Education at AUT focusing on the reasons it is so important to reconnect children with nature.

Our Nature Programme Educators

Joanna Luff (Jo)
Early Childhood Teacher
Long Bay Regional Park, Auckland North Shore 

 

Jo is a registered Early Childhood Teacher and is experienced in working with toddlers, kindergarten and school aged children. She's an advocate for children's right to play in natural spaces which led her to become part of the Play and Learn team in June 2016. Jo works at Long Bay Monday to Friday.

"I believe children are capable and confident learners. I love to observe their self-directed play interactions as they learn about the world around and their place in it. Rain or shine we explore the natural wonders offered at Long Bay regional park."

Janina Stanka Play and Learn
Janina Stanka Play and Learn
Janina Stanka Play and Learn
Solitaire Marshall
Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland North Shore 

coming soon

Sally Groenhart
Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland North Shore 

coming soon

Noemi Pavlicz
Early Childhood Teacher
Cornwall Park/ Maungakiekie, Auckland Central

coming soon

Janina Stanka Play and Learn
Kerri Iwaskov
Early Childhood Teacher
Cornwall Park/ Maungakiekie, Auckland Central

Kerri has been part of our team for 8 years. She has enjoyed many years of professional development with Play and Learn, both nationally and internationally. In 2011 Kerri won a scholarship to attend a one week intensive study at The Loris Malaguzzi Centre in Reggio Emilia.

 

"In my experience children actually teach us about the concept of more……. More time, more space, more opportunities, more conversations, more freedom, more mistakes. I also believe we need to teach children to use what they have, to repurpose, to find new ways of thinking and to discover more about themselves."

Emily Beatson  
Primary School Teacher, ECE Teacher & Forest School Leader
Schlaepfer Park, South Auckland

 

Emily started teaching as a Primary School Teacher in 2000. After visiting Forest Schools in Denmark she retrained as an Early Childhood Teacher in New Zealand and started working for Play and Learn. She trained as a Forest School Leader in the UK in 2010. Emily now works at the Clarks Beach Centre where she runs the Nature Programme.

"I believe children deserve the opportunity to have rich experiences where they can learn about themselves and others and a chance to experience the world that they live in – not by reading it in books or watching it on television or the internet, to actually be out there and know what it feels like to feel, smell, taste, even to be a little bit scared but challenge yourself and reach that goal."

Jan Taylor  
Early Childhood Teacher & Forest School Leader
Camp Sladdin

 

Jan has trained as a Forest School Leader in the UK in 2011 and helped develop the unique Nature Programme for Aotearoa New Zealand. She has worked at Play and Learn for 18 years, running the Nature Kindergarten at the King Street Centre for the last 7 years.

"My passion is to see that all children have the opportunities and rights that I experienced as a child, and I believe that the way forward for children is to provide them with the opportunities that will develop skills for life."