Top tips for teachers (from a teacher)

Introducing Irene Cranstoun, the teacher contact for SADD at Kristin School in Auckland. Irene has overseen the school’s committee for at least 15 years and, thanks to her enthusiasm, has enabled the committee to grow year on year with some fantastic student-led road safety initiatives. Irene shares her secrets to being a successful teacher contact.


How long have you been teaching at Kristin School?
23 years (15 as SADD teacher contact)

Why have you decided to remain the teacher in charge of SADD for so long?
I took SADD on as a committee as I thought that, being interested in Youth health, that it was a natural fit for me and often led to resources that I could use in my health programme.

How often does the SADD committee meet?
We mostly meet as a group on Thursday morning tea times as the morning tea break is longer on a Thursday. These meetings are mostly weekly and are less often when there are other school events that make it difficult to have a meeting.

How big of a role do you play as the teacher in charge?
When I started I was very active in how the meetings were run and also ideas for health promotion in the school. But since then, as students attended the conferences in the term 1 holidays, the leaders gained in confidence and their enthusiasm has taken off meaning I take more of a support role.

Why do you think it’s important to have a SADD group at Kristin School?
We have lost students in the past to road accidents and also students who have got into trouble being tired, distracted and also due to alcohol use at parties. I think that it is important to spread awareness and safety messages.

Have you got any advice for a teacher who is new to SADD?
Start slow, send students to the conference, read the SADD website to be better informed then let the students suggest ideas. When they feel they own the group their enthusiasm drives the activities and encourages others to get involved.

What information were you given before you started as the SADD teacher contact?
I didn't get anyone contact me in the first year, but I read overseas websites as well as ours to gain ideas of how it could run. I also did research into data around the New Zealand situation of young people driving and the risks involved.

When you move on from Kristin, what information will you pass over to the new teacher contact?
I will introduce them to current leaders and possible students to take over in the year to come. I would make sure they have contact numbers and details for the organisation. Information on how to use the group to best advantage at Kristin School.

Many thanks to Irene for sharing her SADD story!
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