Long-time NZEI Te Riu Roa member Julie Hanify has written this memoir like a GoPro butterfly, dipping across a known landscape from an unfamiliar perspective. The insights for educators are valuable.

“I decided to go teaching because I had been so unhappy during my own school years and I wanted children to be happy to come to school. I wanted them to meet teachers who treated them with understanding and love. I had the love all along, but have had to develop the understanding over my thirty years of teaching.”

In her forties, Hanify was diagnosed first with ADHD and then with traits of autism, shedding light on a life full of both terror and achievement – as a musician, parent and teacher.

As a teacher she is drawn to working with children with special education needs. Her approaches work and it’s these stories of success in the classroom that anchor and reframe the challenges.

The book was drafted as part of a master’s degree at the creative writing school at Victoria University of Wellington and is  a beautiful piece of writing.