Tuakana Teachers


Tuakana Teacher/Centre Manger

Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Montessori, Diploma in Early Childhood Education

Hello/Kia ora

I am Malika De Silva, Centre Manager/Owner of Tipu Montessori. I am fortunate to be among a team of dedicated and passionate teaching professionals and to serve a community that appreciates and values the education we provide.

In my long career as a Montessori teacher I have had the privilege of teaching both toddlers and pre-schoolers. I also taught at Primary level as a Resource teacher and had the opportunity to manage a Montessori Centre in the past. I am originally from Sri Lanka and my husband’s career took us to Jamaica in the West Indies where I began my professional journey. We have a grown up son who began his early education as a Montessori toddler.

As educators our duty is to respect children’s individual strengths and provide them the freedom of choice in their work/play. Our responsibility is to support and promote their love of learning. I believe that the greatest gift an educator can receive from a child is his/her trust.

At Tipu Montessori we place great importance at building relationships with parents and whanau.



Belinda Pillay | Tuakana Teacher

Kalpana Rao

Tuakana Teacher

Montessori Diploma in teaching (3-6 years) 

Grad Dip in teaching (ECE)

“The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature”. 

-Maria Montessori

Namaste, Kia ora and greetings to you. My name is Kalpana. I am originally from Bengaluru, India. 

My interest in the play way method of education brought me to New Zealand in 2009. After I completed my study and attained full registration, I decided to continue living and working in New Zealand; which I now consider to be my second home.

I enjoy working in Montessori environments in Aotearoa, New Zealand because of the fine balance between structured learning and learning through play. I am very passionate about the Montessori philosophy and thoroughly enjoy working with children. 

Reading, gardening and sewing are some of my favourite pastimes. 



Jing | Teina Teacher

Jingwen He

Tuakana Teacher

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Montessori Childhood Teaching)

Hi I am Jing. I graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Montessori Childhood Teaching). I have had teaching experiences with both 0-3 and 3-6 age groups. I believe that children are our future, and early years are very important for the later life. My philosophy is to follow the children, teach them do things by themselves, and also help them acquire skills of grace and courtesy. I am aiming to provide a safe and warm environment for the children, to promote their well-being and feeling of belonging, and also use my teaching skills to promote their independence.