Leanne Mato

Leanne Mato

Head Teacher, Northcote Central Kindergarten
Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)

Ngāti Porou, Whānau a Apanui

AUT education alumna Leanne Mato loves her job.

“I teach a group of forty children between the ages of three and five, and working with the children is what I love most about my role. I’m also lucky enough to work with a fun, committed team of teachers who share similar philosophies,” says Leanne who now teaches at Northcote Central Kindergarten, which is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

“The many professional development opportunities offered by the Auckland Kindergarten Association are an added bonus, which means I’m completely up-to-date with the latest research in the area of early childhood education.”

Finding her passion
Leanne discovered her passion for teaching after working in sales and marketing for many years.

“We returned to New Zealand with our two young children after living in the UK for 12 years. I had helped at their nursery school and found I loved it.”

To help her become the best teacher she could be, Leanne decided to return to university to complete a teaching degree.

“I feel that children have the right to be taught by teachers who are not only caring but also have professional knowledge that can only come from completing a professional qualification.”

Relevant skills
If you want to study in a vibrant, supportive and relevant university AUT is the place, says Leanne who received the TeachNZ Kupe Scholarship for high achieving Māori students.

“During my three-year degree I completed five teaching practicums, including a placement at Northcote Central Kindergarten where I now work. The AUT lecturers were amazing – so supportive, inspiring and knowledgeable. I also made some lifelong friends during my studies and learned not just what it takes to be a great teacher but also a lot about myself.”

She now uses the skills she developed at AUT every day, Leanne says.

“Besides all the theory I learned, I’m using the skills I developed at AUT in terms of assessment for children’s learning and a deep understanding of Te Whariki, our ECE curriculum framework. I would say that every paper I took at AUT is relevant to my job and has meant that I’ve been able to hit the ground running.”