Social Sciences teacher

Social Studies & History
Kia ora! My name is Jake McGregor and I am immensely privileged to be joining the Green Bay High School whānau as a Social Studies and History teacher in 2020.

I moved to New Zealand from Scotland when I was eight years old, and quickly fell in love with this country’s friendly people, rich culture, and stunning natural scenery. Growing up I could often be found rambling through the bush looking for native birds, or else with my nose deep in a book. I have always been fascinated by history, and in particular how our society’s ongoing dialogue with its past affects the world around us. I went on to gain a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies and Politics, with a Minor in History, at Victoria University of Wellington. Whilst at university I studied a range of topics, specialising in Roman History and Modern European History, as well as New Zealand History, Political Systems, and Ancient Theatre.

As wide ranging as some of these choices may seem, I was primarily motivated by my passion for acquiring new knowledge. I have always been a voracious reader, and the only thing I enjoy more than immersing myself in a new topic is sharing that passion with others. After I concluded my university studies I worked as a museum tour guide at the Great War Exhibition in Wellington, regaling visitors with tales of the First World War and honing my public speaking skills. It was here that I first discovered my love of teaching, and in particular working with young people. As a member of the education team I worked closely with visiting school groups, and realised how much more engaging and enjoyable they were to work with than adults! When the Exhibition came to the end of its run, I was left with an obvious opportunity to combine my talents by becoming a teacher.

I went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Teaching at Victoria University of Wellington, where I was commended for my ability to forge positive, respectful relationships with students. This forms the bedrock upon which my teaching philosophy rests. I was raised to believe in the importance of empathy, and like many of my colleagues my main motivation (aside from getting to talk about my favourite subject) is to support young people in reaching their fullest potential. The best way to achieve this is by knowing who students are as people, and therefore taking the time and effort to build strong, professional relationships with them and their families. The constructive environment that arises allows me to respond to the individual needs of students, and provide the support and resources they need. As such, I strive to create classroom communities that foster respect and cooperation, whilst also cultivating an enthusiastic classroom presence. With three weeks at Green Bay High School now under my belt I can see that I am very lucky to be part of a school community that shares these values and prides itself on providing support for all its members.

I am keenly aware that not everyone may share my passion for history, but the beauty of the subject is that building a better understanding of the world and your place in it is just the tip of the iceberg. History plays a crucial role in equipping young people with the critical thinking skills necessary to become active, responsible, and critical citizens. Armed with knowledge of our society’s history and the ability to critically analyse information, students stand a much better chance of succeeding in all aspects of their lives. In today’s increasingly uncertain world, with an unparalleled volume of information available to all via the internet, these skills are more vital than ever. I look forward to working with my students to develop those skills, and helping hem become the very best they can be.