The Childern's Corner

The Children's Corner - Logo (3)The Children's Corner - Logo (3)

Our Teachers

Meet the team at The Children’s Corner childcare in Howick, Auckland

Our Kaiako (Teachers)

We recruit and retain the very best early childhood teachers; highly qualified, experienced individuals who feel a strong connection to our centre vision and are committed to providing our children with quality learning.

Our Montessori teachers are facilitators, mentors, coaches and guides. Through careful observation, they get to know a child’s learning style, personality and interests and guide them through the Montessori curriculum accordingly.

Our teachers treat every child as unique and their learning journey specific to them, encouraging in them a love of learning.

Montessori teachers encourage children to ask questions, think independently, explore, investigate and discover.

Centre Owner - Diane at The Children's Corner childcare centre in Howick, Auckland

Diane Cornelius

Centre Owner

Originally from Scotland, I came to Auckland in 2003 with my husband and I am very proud to call Auckland home. I have a B.A degree in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology and a Post-graduate Diploma in Personnel Management. Along with a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

I have had the pleasure of being Centre Owner of The Children’s Corner Howick since January 2007 and the best part of my work is getting to know all our preschoolers and their families. I believe every child deserves the very best start in life and together with our talented teachers, this is what we aim to provide your child with…a quality Montessori foundation for lifelong learning.

I have 4 children (Neve, Orla, Darcy and Dempsey) and a husband who also works in early childhood so children really focus a lot in our lives! Together with our sheep, goat, dogs and cat we enjoy life on our lifestyle block.

Baz Cornelius

Centre Owner

Kia ora my name is Baz and I’m co-owner of The Children’s Corner Howick. I have 4 children and have been involved in early childhood education in New Zealand for almost 15 years working with all age groups. It always fills me with joy when I see children realise their potential as capable and competent learners.

Although I originally gained a degree in Chemistry then went on to work in the corporate world as a Finance Manager it is early childhood where I have finally found my passion. I have a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

My particular interests lie in conservation and the outdoors and I’m hoping to inspire and encourage our young learners in these valuable areas too.

Radhika - Montessori teacher at The Children's Corner childcare centre in Howick, Auckland

Radhika Chawla

Head Teacher

Hi, my name is Radhika Chawla, and I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. I grew up with my two other siblings, and I am the youngest among them. I graduated from the University of Delhi in 2003 with a Bachelor of Commerce and studied two years Diploma in Early Childhood Education. I have a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

I started my career in teaching in the year 2002. I taught for ten years as a Montessori Teacher with children of 3 to 6 years old in a school in New Delhi.

In 2013, I moved to New Zealand after marrying my husband, Bharat. We have two lovely kids, Pavani (9) and Himank (6).

In 2017, I worked as a long term reliever teacher at The Children’s Corner.

I am an enthusiastic teacher who loves kids and having a fun time with them. I am so excited to start this great journey with you and your children and working alongside with the great team of The Children’s Corner.

Montessori Teacher - Joanne at The Children's Corner childcare centre in Howick, Auckland

Joanna Xiao

Montessori Teacher (Currently on Maternity Leave)

Kia ora, my name is Joanna Xiao. I am a fully registered teacher with a graduate diploma in ECE teaching. I also have a B. A. degree in High school English Teaching and a Post-graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

My education career started back when I worked for Kumon China. From observing and interacting with young children, I found my passion for working with young children and started my ECE further study in New Zealand.

Since 2012 I have been involved in early childhood education with all age groups in New Zealand. Originally from South China, I grew up with three other siblings, and I am the oldest one.

My husband and I came to New Zealand in 2012, and now we have our lovely daughter Kaia-Belle (three-year-old) with us. We are enjoying life here in New Zealand. In my spare time, most importantly, I would love to have quality time with my families. Also, I love reading (especially about ancient history and archeology), swimming and hiking.

I am excited to start my new journey in the Children’s Corner and look forward to the partnership with our whanau to create a meaningful learning journey for our tamarikima.

Jo Difuntorum Montessori Teacher

Jo Difuntorum

Montessori Teacher

Being a Montessori mum to four sons motivated me to pursue a career
in Early Childhood. I studied a Diploma in Montessori Education – Australia and then I pursued a degree in Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) – New Zealand.

I started my teaching career at the International School, teaching children from 2 to 6 years old in Brunei, a small country in Borneo Island. Then in 2009 we migrated to New Zealand.

I am committed to supporting children and celebrating in their early life success and development. I strongly believe that nurturing children’s curiosity and needs with genuine interest and love is very important to stimulate their natural desire for learning.

Catherine Dong, Montessori Teacher

Catherine Dong

Montessori Teacher

Kia Ora! My name is Catherine Dong from China. I am a provisionally registered ECE Teacher with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in New Zealand. I also have a Bachelor Degree in Business Management and a Master Degree in Human Resource Management in the UK. I came to NZ in 2019 and my family came in 2022. I and my husband Eddy have a lovely daughter, Freya. I like traveling when I am free to know more about the world. I have worked in ECE since 2019 in different age groups and am excited to be a part of The Children’s Corner now. I am happy to support tamariki with whanau, our team and community.

We'd love to show you around our preschool centre in Howick

Come and meet the team, talk to our centre manager, say hi to the kids and see first hand why we’re different. We’re more than happy to take you on a guided tour around the centre.  You can book in your visit now, just click on the button below and choose a time and day to suit you. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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