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Spotlight on Staff: Ben Howell

Ben Howell joined our school at the beginning of this year. A Bay of Plenty native turned decade-long adventure recreation specialist, he’s swum in the Arctic, rock-climbed around South East Asia and sailed from New Zealand to South America.

Since becoming a teacher, Mr Howell has been awarded North Auckland Business Teacher of the Year, and seen his students receive multiple national awards in Business and Enterprise.

Why did you become a PE teacher?

I love everything to do with sport and movement, getting kids outdoors, challenging them to try new things and develop their personal character. I decided to move into teaching because it’s incredibly rewarding seeing children over a number of years grow in confidence and self-esteem and become aware of what they’re capable of.

What do you do outside of school?
Surfing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, mountain biking – anything and everything outside.

Where were you before joining ACG Tauranga?
I spent the last few years teaching at KingsWay School in Orewa starting up Business, and Outdoor Education courses.

Can you describe your teaching philosophy?
I believe that for young learners in today’s digital world it has never been more important to be physically active and socially interactive, so it’s about providing students with opportunities to develop their character and instilling in them the importance of hard work, respect of others, integrity, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

Physical education doesn’t just promote important movement skills and understanding of the human body, it helps shape the healthy bodies and minds needed to ensure students reach their full potential.

What are you most proud of?
My amazing family [Mr Howell has a six-month old son, Forest] and the fact that we can live an active lifestyle, and travel and adventure together.

Earlier this year my wife and I hiked the Te Araroa trail traversing the length of the South Island from the Bluff to the top of the Marlborough Sounds. It took 100 days of hard slog and we wore through a few pairs of shoes!