Chaplain loves working with kids

Last updated 11:17 03/05/2012
CHAPLAIN
STEPHEN FORBES

HELPING HAND: West Harbour School chaplain Raewyn Moodie with Jade Jerome, left, and Seluaina Alefaio, both 11.

Relevant offers

Raewyn Moodie, 51, lives in Hobsonville with her husband Craig and works as a chaplain at West Harbour School. She tells reporter Stephen Forbes about a day in her life.

I joined the team at West Harbour School in February and work one day a week as a volunteer chaplain.

I start work on Tuesday at 10.30am and my first port of call is usually the staff room.

I like to have a chat with the teachers about anything that may have come up.

They might have a new child in their class or a student who has some issues.

The teachers refer the children to me if they feel they need to have a chat.

It might be a child who doesn't know how they are going to make friends at school or it might be a student who has issues dealing with their emotions. But each case I deal with is quite different.

Sometimes we do a bit of role playing.

It's a good way to empower them to make the choices they need to make or I might give them a question to go away and think about.

I usually spend about 30 to 40 minutes with each child.

I'm not here to teach the children about God. I'm here to listen in confidence and provide support on a one-on-one basis.

At lunchtime I'll wander around the playground and speak to the kids. Then after the break I do more one-on-one sessions.

I usually see five or six children on a one-on-one basis each week. That's on top of some of the informal chats I have with them in the playground.

A teacher is often looked at as an authority figure and some children find it hard to share things with them. And with close to 30 children in a lot of primary school classes they don't always have the time for an in-depth one-on-one conversation. So that's where I come in as a chaplain.

I love working with kids and I also see it as a way of supporting teachers, because I know it's a hard job.

I worked for almost 30 years as a primary school teacher. Then last year I trained as a chaplain through the Churches Education Commission.

I also teach music and work as a family and community pastor at the Westgate Baptist Church.

It's the students that make the job worthwhile. I love the kids.

It's so rewarding to have one of them come running up to me to give me a hug or tell me about their life.

The school has welcomed me with open arms and the staff here are wonderful. It's a great environment to work in.

Ad Feedback

- Western Leader

Special offers
Opinion poll

Have you ever been caught out by a TradeMe deal gone wrong?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Advertising in the Western Leader works for The Mad Butcher

Advertising in the Western Leader works for The Mad Butcher

Download Western Homes
Hot deals