Meet the Teachers

I am Val, married to “Norm, the Builder”, and we have an adult daughter. I am a registered early childhood teacher with 50 years’ experience in education, from early childhood, primary to senior secondary school English. Born in South Africa, I spent six years in the UK then returned to South Africa, leaving in my twenties. I consider that I am privileged to be living in New Zealand.

I believe that respect, kindness and maintaining a warm but professional manner are key, together with a sense of humour and a delight in watching children acquire maturity and confidence when in a loving and exciting environment.

To relax, I read, walk, cook or sing (in the local Holy Trinity Gospel Group).

Hello and welcome. My name is Dani and I am the head teacher here at Small is Beautiful. I hold a Bachelor of Education specialising in early childhood teaching with full registration.

I started my journey at Small is Beautiful in 2014 where I completed a four-week placement. It was from this experience that I was offered a full time position in 2016.

My love for children and teaching started from a young age – watching my grandmother and mother teach special-needs children helped me realise this is what I want to do in life. In 2013 I set off on my dream and studied for three years.

My vision as a teacher is about ensuring all children and their whanau have a sense of belonging when walking into our Centre. We ensure we create a community environment which supports each child and their individual needs. I focus on regular communication with parents which allows them to be a part of their child’s learning, allowing for their child’s needs to be meet and goals to be made.

I believe all children learn in different ways, whether it is outside in the playground, inside at a table, individually or in a group setting. Here at Small is Beautiful we meet those needs and provide each children with the best chance in preparing them for school and life.


My name is Christine. I am a qualified and registered early childhood educator having worked at SiB for five years.

I am married with three grown up children and five grandchildren. Originally from Christchurch, I have been teaching for eighteen years.

My philosophy is based on respect – respect for the individual child, their age and stage of development, their cultural identity and uniqueness. I value respectful and collaborative relationships with the children, with my colleagues and with the families and communities I work with.

I strongly believe that we all achieve to our full potential when we feel safe and secure, so it is important for me that I foster a trusting relationship with the children I work with.

Hi, I’m Tracy, the newest member of the team at Small is Beautiful. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree, but have been very interested in early childhood education since my daughters were small, and recently decided to return to university part-time to study for my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

I enjoy the family-like environment here at Small is Beautiful where the children play and learn together like siblings. Older children help and encourage younger or newer children, and the younger children look up to their older friends, learning from them and trying to emulate what they see.

I am the mother of two very different adult daughters, and my personal philosophy stems from my experiences in education with my own children. I believe that each child is a unique individual, each walking to their own drum in terms of strengths and skills as they grow and develop. Small is Beautiful facilitates this by giving children the opportunity to grow at their own pace, and celebrating every child’s achievements as they happen.


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