Megan Corry 1997 - 2003
Megan Corry 1997-2003
“Assisting students to deal with personal, social or behavioural issues that put their wellbeing, learning and school achievement at risk”, is how Megan Corry sees her new role as Guidance Counsellor at St Peter’s College. At times this also includes assisting staff colleagues or school families/whānau. Ex-pupil Megan joined the staff in August 2015, having spent the previous two years teaching in China.
Megan is part of the school’s pastoral care network, along with learning tutors and senior management. She feels that her job is not necessarily to solve problems but to empower others to develop strategies and awareness and make their own decisions. Often all that is needed is someone to listen to them, not to tell them what to do. The digital age puts many extra pressures on young people and can leave them feeling out of their depth. Study pressures, social relationship issues, and social media can all have negative effects and become a barrier to learning. Students can be helped by the whole community and putting in place a support network of parents, staff and peers is usually the way forward.
Guidance counsellors work to a code of ethics and are themselves supported by an external supervisor. Their work must be in the best interests of their client but they will also be taking into account who else might be at risk and are other people involved in the issue.
Megan is a Gore girl. She comes back to St Peter’s with an impeccable pedigree. Her grandfather, Maurice Adair was one of the school’s founding fathers. He wanted all of his family to come here, but by the time the school finally opened, only her youngest uncle was able to attend. From St Mary’s in Gore, she followed her brother on to St Peter’s and having always been a tall child, she suddenly felt very small alongside what seemed to be huge people at the big school. It was also a surprise to find that there were more people in the world than in her primary school population!
She always enjoyed sport and movement activities and by year 12 had decided that PE was the subject that resonated most with her, but was undecided what to do next. Her mentor was teacher Gaye McDowell, who was her form teacher and basketball coach and always seemed to be passionate about everything she did.
Megan decided to enrol at Otago University School of Physical Education and loved both the practical and theory side of the course. Meeting lots of cool people in Cumberland Hall added to the experience, but then she had to decide what to do next. She embarked on a Bachelor of Education degree, planning to do primary teaching, but then switched to secondary. Gaye McDowell, now at the same college, resumed her mentoring role and Megan qualified as a teacher in 2008.
Having sustained an injury, resulting in concussion, she decided to stay in Dunedin for a while and worked for a year at the Body Synergy Gym – helping to rehabilitate people who had suffered back injuries – doing training to strengthen their bodies.
Around this time, an opportunity arose which provided a good transition into actual teaching. St Peter’s needed a temporary relief teacher for year 9 students. Megan returned to her old school to take up the post, teaching PE, Religious Education and Mathematics.
At the same time she realised that she needed to broaden her horizons, so her next job took her to Menzies College at Wyndham and it was here that she was to meet her future fiancée, Brad Lamb. By 2011, Megan was HOD in the school’s Outdoor Education department, but those broader horizons were calling and she and Brad moved to Western Australia for six months relief teaching, before setting off to work at Ningbo International School at Ningbo in China.
Their two years there proved very challenging, and enriching, dealing with many nationalities and a new language. For the international students, diversity was the norm and education was a two way process – Megan learned a lot from them. A bonus of actually living in China, was the ability to leave the tourist trail and explore places that foreigners don’t usually get to see.
While she was teaching PE and health subjects there, she was also studying counselling through papers with Massey University. With more life experience behind her she felt able to move into this new field and an opportunity arose to return to New Zealand and pursue her Masters Degree in counselling. When a job as Guidance Counsellor came up at St Peter’s College, it seemed like her chance to give something back to the community. Outside of her day to day work, she is looking forward to supporting extracurricular activities in the school and getting involved in sport again herself.
And has St Peter’s changed since she was a pupil here? Megan says that the core values of the school don’t change and that’s the important thing that drives the school forward.