Room 5: Whaea Jo

Dr Seuss has a quote “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” To me this epitomises my learning journey as a singer, musician and teacher. Performance Arts are my passion and this includes interest and enthusiasm for waiata as well as Music, Dance and Drama.


I came to Mamaku School enthusiastic about being selected as an experienced teacher. I am committed to promoting te reo Māori me ona tikanga so I also include this whakatauki: Rukuhia te mātauranga ki tōna hōhonutanga me tōna whānuitanga. To pursue knowledge to its greatest depths and broadest horizons.


For the past 27 years, I have had the privilege of teaching around Aotearoa from Tai Tokerau, Tamaki Makaurau through to Te Waiariki rohe. I moved down from Whangarei, Te Renga Paraoa in July 2018 and worked in Whakatāne for the second half of that year before buying a house in Rotorua at the beginning of 2019.


My teaching experience began in 1994 at a two teacher school near the Waipoua forest. In those days I only had a Diploma of Teaching. I then completed my Bachelor of Education upgrade and graduated in 2014. After completing my Master of Indigenous Studies degree in Education in 2017, I sought new challenges, which resulted in my move to Rotorua. As a Pākehā, studying with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi I learnt the value of cooperation and teamwork. I am a lifelong learner who values the opportunity to continue professional learning and development.


I have an adult son and a teenage daughter, along with one mokopuna. I play the flute and have taught flute, recorder and ukulele in the past. Singing and dancing are a component of my teaching approach as well as the importance of being a culturally responsive practitioner.


At Mamaku School, I love sharing my passions with the students and I am always enthusiastic about finding out what passions the tamariki have too. I feel honoured to be chosen to help educate your tamaiti and to being a member of the Mamaku School whānau, which brings me great pleasure. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui.


Mauri ora,

Whaea Jo Collyer

What's Happening in Room 5:

Term 1 2021

  • Room 5 enjoyed learning about empathy at Life Education. We participated in activities that helped us learn that empathy is the key to making and keeping connections with people. Someone showing empathy might be said to “put themselves in another person’s shoes”, “be in tune with them”, or “get inside their skin”. Empathy can take many forms. Sometimes we just feel it; sometimes we act on it.