Canadian teacher returns to Nelson 

Mrs. Mott gets a celebratory photo taken as she reaches the top of Ball Pass in Mt Cook National Park.   

Canadian outdoor-enthusiast Melanie Mott returned to teach at Nayland College in early 2017.

The outdoor education teacher grew up in The Yukon in Northern Canada. “You pretty much step out your door and you’re in wilderness”, she exclaimed.


Mrs. Mott was born in British Columbia in a small town named Kimberley. At a young age her family moved to Saskatchewan to the flat lands. Her grandparents were grain farmers.  She couldn’t stay away from the mountains for very long. “I turned eighteen and had to get back to the mountains, that was when I moved back up to the Yukon”, she said. Mrs. Mott had always been passionate about the outdoors. It was when she lived in the Yukon where her passion really started to take shape.


In Canada she was able to do a large number or outdoor adventures. She stuck to her passion and started her profession in outdoor education which has always involved teaching in some form. Previously she has done sea kayak guiding in the Abel Tasman, canoe guiding at the top of the South Island, New Zealand and work at various outdoor education schools.


In 2003 on a cycling trip around New Zealand she saw a job posting at Nayland College. Although back then she didn’t know anything about it. She applied for the job and got it. She had planned to stay for one year but she says, “The school was really engaging and the staff here were really supportive and fun…”. Mrs. Mott, teaching outdoor education at Nayland College at that time, ended up staying until 2008 before she went back to The Yukon.


Earlier this year in 2017 Mrs. Mott returned to Nelson and to her love of teaching outdoor education at Nayland College. She gushed, “Nelson area is surrounded by amazing places to go into the outdoors and taking students in the outdoors is just a fascinating way to see their learning. It’s first hand engaging learning and there’s so much to learn in the outdoors”.


By student reporter, Orla O’Brien