Let's start the final week of Term with a BANG!
We had the pleasure of enjoying a morning coffee with a fabulous teacher over the weekend. This was recorded and will be available to our community tonight, stay tuned.
She is a huge supporter of Smile Teachers and is currently collaborating with us on the upcoming Teach Meet WA event. We would love to see you there, it involves fun, hopefully sun and some beverages as you connect with other teachers and win heaps of prizes.
Today we introduce to you Miss Maddi Gorton...
Snowboarding, organising and numbers are her game!
What is your current role and level of experience?
I am currently in a Year 2/3 class where I actually went to primary school myself! This is my third year teaching but I graduated in 2014. I went travelling for a year and a half and missed teaching so much, I’m so glad to be back in the classroom!
What do you love most about working in education?
The people! I absolutely love getting to know my students, they really do become your little friends. I also love the support and friendships you make with your colleagues. I also feel that I am consistently being challenged and love that everyday I learn something new. Teaching really doesn’t feel like a job to me, I feel so lucky!
What are your strengths as a teacher?
This is very hard to answer haha! I think I’m very generous and open to sharing ideas with colleagues and collaborating. I also really take the time to get to know my students and bond with them, which makes my behaviour management relatively easier.
How is your school unique and what surprises you on most days?
I have only been at my school for 6 weeks as I took over maternity leave but I have learnt so many things and everyone has made me feel very welcomed. I’m just amazed with my class as well, they work so hard and I have the best education assistant, it has made my transition so easy!
What things do you do to build strong positive relationships with your students?
I try to make sure I ask them questions and really show that I care. Even when a student is telling me a story at the wrong time and is taking just about 2 hours to tell it, I really try to respond well and show that I am listening. I also love to have a joke and laugh with the kids, to me it really builds a strong rapport with them.
How can we better support teachers to do their job effectively?
I feel that just giving support and being there for colleagues is a massive part of maintaining teacher well-being. Ensuring that all staff are united and on the same page is integral for the school to run smoothly and for their to be a positive vibe among teachers, students, parents and the community.
What has been your most rewarding teaching experience, please describe?
There have been so many incredibly rewarding and amazing experiences in my career so far. Even the simple things such as receiving letters from students or having jokes with them are the absolute best. When I returned to my school after being away I surprised all the kids, the looks and smiles on their faces was the best feeling. I have also made lifelong friends with some of my colleagues which I am so, so grateful for.
Outline your favourite lesson to teach, what would you have the kids do?
My favourite subject is probably numeracy. You can do so many hands on and fun activities to learn the concept. Even simple things such as using catalogues to learn about money is such a hit!
If you could make one change to the current education system, describe what it would be and why?
Definitely the stigma associated with teaching, I feel that the profession has become more devalued and a lot of people do not realise how much teachers actually do. I still hear from a lot of friends that I get “12 weeks off a year”.
There are so many people who do know how much work teachers do and it means the world when a parent/colleague/stranger acknowledges and appreciates what you do. Obviously not everyone believes this stigma but there definitely are negative aspects associated to teachers, which I hope will continue to improve.
How do you manage your stress level and maintain positive well-being to be happy and teach well?
I generally don’t get too stressed but I do sometimes feel like I have a lot on my plate to do in a short amount of time. I definitely try to prioritise my to-do list and keep as organised as I can. I do a lot of work at home and I’m trying to limit this as much as possible. I try to only do one morning on the weekend dedicated to school and the rest I spend time with my family and friends and doing things that I love! By enjoying my weekends and spending more time on myself, I definitely feel more refreshed and ready for the next week.
Do you have any special talents or skills?
Not too much really, but I can snowboard pretty well and I can do some jumps! I also make a really good caramel slice!
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of teaching?
I have a love for travelling for sure. I have recently come back from being away for 18 months and lived in Canada at a ski resort for 6 months of that time. While I was away, I found a love of creating teacher resources and I sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers. It is a relaxing time for me, I put a movie on and try be as creative as I can with my resources.
Describe one piece of advice you would give to your former self before becoming a teacher?
You’re not going to know everything straight away and that’s okay! I think in my first year I felt like I had to know everything and I felt a little incompetent when I didn’t know what to do in a situation. I have definitely learnt that it does take experience and time to find your feet. Eventually you will build a range of strategies to pull from to deal with all types of situations and you gain more confidence and self-assurance
What are you most excited for the remainder of the 2018 school year?
I’m just so excited to finish the year in general. I missed it so much while away, especially all the fun end of year events and activities. I’m on a fixed-term contract so I’m excited to see where 2019 will take me as well!
Is there any particular area you would love to see SMILE Teachers deliver for your school?
I am loving what you guys are doing, ensuring that teachers are okay is so important. Would love to see a lot of strategies to help with the work balance.
We thank Maddi for all her support and love for education. Tonight you can see the full video filmed a the Fremantle Arts Centre, Student Art Exhibition.
As mentioned, you can find Miss Gorton at the upcoming Teach Meet WA event at the Windsor Hotel on September 25th, alongside Smile Teachers for a fun day. Contact her on Instagram to RSVP.
Maddi will also be joining us at our Mindset Manoeuvre workshop for school teachers to better manage their stress on October 5th, where all teachers can currently bring a friend half price!
If we are lucky we will even get Maddi to our Bali Teacher's Retreat in January 2019 !