Sustainable Lens
Resilience on Radio
Every student can make a difference
Categories: children, education

Graham Henton is an inspirational Enviro Science Teacher at Whakatane Intermediate School, in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. We talk about his background, his approach to teaching and the restoration of the Awatapu lagoon and why he loves what he is doing.

Talking points

What a difference a child can make

Every child – I believe in you

Understanding – what we do as human beings

Interdependence is everything

If you don’t like Enviro, come and talk to Mr H, what’s going worng, what am I doing wrong?

Too many takers and not enough givers

I’ve made up a word for people who are selfish: BigISpoilers – their mission in life is to spoil things for everything and everyone else. I encourage the kids to be enviro-kids, and they are going to assist the planet to be sustainable.


Empower their life of making a difference

Put your cards on the table, lets figure out what we can do

Why would you want to cultivate a culture of extravagance?

They’re doing it, that my legacy.

It buzzes me out, I met people all over NZ, big burly fellas at the petrol station, “Mr H you believed in me”. I empower kids to make a difference. I want to empower children to make a difference in their life first, and then make a difference in the environment. They’re doing, that is my greatest encouragement.

Sustainability: Helping earth, not fighting it. Allowing the earth to do what it wants to do without us ruining and spoiling. Instead of creating carnage wherever we go.

Success: meeting students years later. In high school, trying to continue what we have begun here. Young children, 10-11 years old, they’re getting it, they’re embarking on a life of sustainability.

Superpower: Empowering young people, to help them understand the importance of the environment. People don’t do things unless they understand it, my job as an educator is to help them understand why we do stuff.

Kids teaching me – I love it. Boom!

Because I love what I’m doing, and because I’m enthusiastic about it, the kids love it (mostly).

Activist? I don’t think so, I’m just a passionate person who believes that passion breeds passion. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. I’ve taken the time to develop a programme that works with kids, and I believe in it.

The world is filled with people who believe in things, and people who believe in things, make things happen. I what kids to know that, to believe that, that they can make things happen.

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