ARATAKI Staff


Hi I am Colleen Barker, I am a real Bay of Plenty ‘girl’, being born in Tauranga and raised in Katikati!

I am married to Alex and we have two grown up sons, four grandsons and a little grand daughter.

I have been teaching ‘forever’ and have taught in a variety of primary schools, holding positions of teacher, teacher aide, senior teacher and deputy principal.  I have also taught over seas and hold an ESOL qualification.  I was teaching at Bellevue School when the first Montessori class was created 15 years ago.  I observed with keen interest as this ‘new’ pedagogy was finding its feet.  When Suzanne Russell joined the Montessori team as a teacher I became a regular in the Montessori classrooms, I was always keen to learn about what was happening and enjoyed bringing parts of the pedagogy into my own classroom.

I have a huge affinity with Montessori education and believe that every child will benefit from Maria Montessori’s work.  My three grandsons attend Montessori school, two at M@B and one still at pre school.

When I am not being a teacher or a nana, I love to garden, a passion fueled by living and working on an avocado orchard and nursery in Te Puna for 18 years (there are lots of avocado trees in the Bay that owe their existence to me – I grafted thousands!).  I enjoy being at home, cooking, reading, knitting, creating photo books online and having the grandchildren to stay.

I look forward to welcoming you to our classroom at Arataki school.

Colleen Barker
Lead Teacher 6–12