Making her daughters proud

25 September 2018
Boopsie Maran
Master of Teaching (Primary) graduand Boopsie Maran

In the week of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Master of Teaching (Primary) graduate Boopsie Maran is delighted that her two young primary-school-aged daughters could witness her achievement and be inspired by it.

“It’s really good for my daughters to see me graduate,” Boopsie says. “It’s important because they were so part of the struggle. They’re my biggest support throughout the whole process, so it’s nice to bring them here and show them I’ve finished something I’ve started.” She also paid tribute to the support of another woman, her mother-in-law, whose help was vital in enabling her to complete her masters.

One of the highlights of her postgraduate degree for Boopsie was the sense of multiculturalism and the access to a rich resource of Māori expertise on campus. An American, Boopsie became a mainstay of the faculty’s kapa haka group. She says it’s vital to her houora or wellbeing. “It’s the joy of singing. It’s about unity, and the power of waiata. That’s especially important for teachers and social workers.”

When she’s been on practicum at schools she’s taught kapa haka and waiata. She believes it can be integrated across the curriculum – encompassing music, arts, poetry and PE.

Having grown up with a Filipina mother and Czech father, Boopsie particularly values multiculturalism. “I don’t see any reason to fear culture. Culture and language are additive.”

Boopsie intends to use the skills she learnt on her course by promoting city activism and better spaces for children in a venture she’s started called Places for Good. She’s been learning how to access funding to improve public spaces. “I would love to have more kapa haka paid performances. People love it. The city could do more of it.”

She’ll also be working as a relief teacher for part of her week. She believes a teaching degree is one of the best preparations for work in any field. “From the psychology point of view, what I learnt from teaching primary applies to all fields. Coming from a restaurant background if you can teach a five-year-old, you can teach anyone. It’s probably one of the most useful degrees on any, I’d say.”