MEET OUR TEAM
Glynis Hibbott- Centre Owner/Director
I have been involved in many aspects of Early Childhood Education for the last 25 years, from Kindergarten teaching to lecturing and leadership in initial teacher education. I have a certificate in Early Childhood Development (developmental psychology), a Degree in Education specialising in Teaching ECE, a Post Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education specializing in ECE. My passion throughout all these experiences is a focus and advocacy for the rights of all children and their Whanau, to experience the best environment, within an early childhood education centre, for their optimal learning and development. I believe that children learn best when they experience an environment that allows them to grow, physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually by providing a space where they are free to explore through play and real life experiences, including animal husbandry, in a variety of natural environments. Where these children are empowered to take responsibility for their own and their peers learning, becoming a community of learners who share and care for each other.
Kia Ora, my name is Rhiannon and I am the centre manager here at Farm Friends. My passion for teaching has been a part of my life as long as I can remember and I have been blessed to have been able to follow this passion professionally for over 12 years. At Farm Friends, I have found my hearts home. My passion within teaching is centred around respect and autonomy. Supporting children to make decisions, develop risk assessment strategies and advocating for learning through real-life authentic experiences. After working at Farm Friends for over four years and experiencing first hand how this unique environment supports the learning and development of the tamamriki has allowed me to truly understand the importance of being able to build an authentic connection with the natural environment and the endless opportunities that papatuanuku provides for learning and exploration.
Kia ora! My name is Ashley Gillard and I am the head teacher at Farm Friends. I have over 8 years of experience in teaching children from a range of age groups from primary school to early childhood. I've had the pleasure of teaching in the USA and in Sweden before my husband and I moved to Aotearoa! I believe our tamariki can deepen their connection with nature and Papatuanuku by given the time and space to actively and freely explore in their play; rain or shine! Nature opens up a world of possibilities through their connections, imagination, explorations, discoveries, curiosity and creativity! I also believe that our tamariki are capable beings that naturally need and instinctively want to be able to take calculated risks to test their abilities and strengths. Risks empower them to challenge themselves and to feel in control of their actions, learning and play! Let the journey begin!
Provisionally Registered Teacher
Konichiwa! My name is Hope and I am a fully qualified and provisionally registered Early Childhood teacher. I have been a part of the Farm Friends family since March of 2018 and have loved learning, growing, and thriving in such a unique environment; where children are given a plethora of opportunities to fulfil their urges in nature.
I am now into my 4th year of teaching and love that I am still learning so much each and every day. My favourite part of being a teacher is watching the extraordinary children I care for grow in their capability to be independent, world changing, kind human beings. I value compassion above everything else and hope to inspire the children I teach to do everything with love and understanding. I definitely view teaching more as a passion rather than a job.
Outside of teaching, my passions include: animals, photography, sustainability, being outdoors, vegetarianism and boxing.
Ni Hao. My name is Chris, and I am a registered early childhood teacher. I originally came from Hong Kong, but New Zealand has been my second home since 2001. I have been teaching in the early childhood sector since 2008. After spending years of working in the non-profit childcare and the commercial settings, I was keen on practising in a centre which views the environment as the third teacher in a practical way. It is my pleasure to be part of the Farm Friends whanau. My role as a teacher is to support tamariki preparing the journey of life, and together we will spark your child's humanity, creativity and curiosity through nature discovery and authentic learning provocations. I believe that engaging in positive interactions with the natural environment can enhance the holistic development of tamariki and lead them to discover the joy and wonder in the natural environment.
Provisionally Registered Teacher
Tēnā koutou katoa. Having finished a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, I am now working towards my registration. I am so excited to work for Farm Friends and I could not think of a better learning environment. I look forward to walking alongside your tamariki mokopuna in their learning journey. I am calm, kind, and nurturing with a passion for Papatūānuku and the learning that can happen with positive interactions. I aspire to provide experiences with nature that encourage the next kaitiaki of our planet. With a passion for learning and teaching te reo Māori and tikanga and as part of my commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, I aim to provide an ever increasing bicultural curriculum.
Kia Ora, Ni Hao, my name is Sylvia and I am a student teacher currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma Degree at New Zealand Tertiary College. I used to be a primary school teacher in my country and taught Chinese. I like cooking, drawing and I am a dog person.
I am passionate about early childhood education and really enjoy learning and developing with children. I believe each of them possesses enormous potential and my role is to provide my support, allowing them to grow at their own pace.
Lesley & Kimberley
Lesley and Kimberley are our amazing Chefs who job share this role, We are very lucky to have a hot cooked meal every day!
Kia Ora! My name is Nicole and I am a student teacher studying a Bachelors of Teaching through New Zealand Tertiary College. I have a two year old son who is enrolled in Farm Friends and we're both excited to get to know everyone! In my spare time I love to hike, swim and read. Growing up on various farms I grew a deep connection with Papatuanuku and nature and want to help share this with our tamariki.