Today marks my last day working at CORE Education—Tātai Aho Rau.

For over five years (which is a long time in a job these days, so I’m told;), my worklife has been a never-ending ride that has offered a heady mix of professional ‘push’ in terms of practice, knowledge and research, all in an environment with the most marvellous people with whom one could wish to work.

If you Google ‘best workplace’, the research returns 144 million results. Suffice it to say, everyone is looking for that special sauce that gets the best out of people in ways that return loyalty and commitment.

I have had the good fortune to work with, meet and engage in crunchy kōrero with some of the most stimulating minds in Aotearoa-New Zealand education — so much so that I would consider the last five years a watershed in my career.

I look back now and see that the people I have worked with have helped me take gravity-free strides in what I know and do — my knowledge of inclusive practice, my understanding of how the Treaty of Waitangi must drive transformation in Aotearoa, the role and management of new technologies and innovation and change and professional learning … how projects are run … how massive events like ULearn and Connected Educator month take flight … how networks, both online and face-to-face, help us soar … how best to work in the highly complex system that is education …

… and most importantly how we can all make powerful, confident change in what we do every day for learners and whānau. Because that’s really, quite simply, all that matters.

Above all, what I have learned is that, if we care for the people with/for whom we work, if we care for our colleagues, we weave a collective that is capable of amazing things. He rau ringa e oti ai.

Because care for the people IS the work. It’s not something to be done when we have worked through the list of ‘to dos’ or when we get round to it, but something to put first. We travel further together than we can alone.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

I think the best jobs don’t feel like work.  And the best jobs are those that prepare you take the next step.

And so, what lies on the other side of the watershed?

I am enormously proud to be the new Director of Education at NetSafe, an organisation with a hugely expert team that focuses on how we can help all people, all learners, all communities take advantage of digital opportunity – and work together to create positive social experiences from which we can all benefit.

It’s time to wade out into a new river.


Images credits



6 thoughts on “Watershed

  1. Dear Karen

    All the very best in your new role. CORE will miss you, as we all will. I hope you will find ways to be ‘present’ in our education network, so we can learn with and from you.

    Nga mihi nui Cherie Taylor-Patel PRINCIPAL Flanshaw Road School NZPF Exec Member


    1. Many thanks, Cherie, for your kind words – I will certainly want to make a firm connect with NZPF et al.. Watch this space! 🙂


  2. Karen, you have helped me grow in my roles and in my own sense of purpose in this crazy jelly juggling work that we do. Through working and talking with you, I know that what I want to do is make a difference by connecting every teacher with the latest information, the best stories of practice, the research, and most importantly with each other in order to grow themselves and their own learning. Thank-you!


    1. How lovely, hon – thanks for your generous words. We have done lots of exciting learning together over the years. Onwards and upwards! 🙂


    1. Hey there! Thanks for dropping by:) Would be great to catch up and see where there are overlaps between the work you are leading and the focus on cybersafety and supporting folks to be confident and effective in digital spaces and places:)


Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated:-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s