Inspiring pupils has been a highlight

Taking a break. . . After 40 years of teaching in schools throughout Southland, Blue Mountain College heads of arts teacher Vicki Crawford is taking a break from full time teaching and will take a painting class in the new year. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Sowing seeds of ideas in pupils’ lives has been a highlight for Blue Mountain College teacher Vicki Crawford, she says.
However, after 18 years at the school, Mrs Crawford is taking a step back from full-time teaching and will finish at the school at the end of the year.
Mrs Crawford said it was very satisfying watching former pupils develop their craft and become artists, designers, teachers and actors knowing she had had some input into their careers.
“I am the seed-sower and hopefully those seeds will grow.”
One former pupil thanked her for encouraging him to take part in a school production. He gave her a hug and said he was now writing music and had a following on an online music platform.
She had developed the philosophy many years ago after listening to Longford Intermediate colleague Wes Gentle.
Mr Gentle welcomed all the pupils to take part in the school’s shows because it might sow a seed of love for the arts in pupils’ lives. She had wanted to be a teacher since she was 10 years old and found it a rewarding career.
She trained as a primary teacher and her first position was at Mataura School in 1983.
Her husband Lennox had encouraged her to return after their three children were born.

“ He said ‘‘you love your teaching. . .go for it’.”

Later she had been a relief teacher for 14 years at Longford Intermediate which was ‘‘where I got the love of art.’’

She had always been “creative and arty” but when she was asked to relief teach for art teacher Sue Redmond that sparked an interest in teaching the arts. That then led her to apply for a position at Blue Mountain College.

At the time, art was taught in the junior school but pupils wanting to take it in the higher levels had to do it through correspondence or online.

“I have developed the drama and senior art.”

Principal Lindy Cavanagh Monaghan had made it possible for her to do this.

She had no formal art teacher training but Mrs Crawford visited art teachers throughout Southland for ideas.

“I was a sponge and they really helped me a lot.”

Supervising the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award pupils was another highlight of her time at Blue Mountain, she said.

It was good timing for her to stop.

“All the new changes in teaching and technology are requiring someone younger and fresher and it’s time to hand the baton over.”

She was planning on being available as a relief teacher and was looking forward to taking part in a painting class.

“I’m going to make my own art.”