Updated: Sep 20, 2018
Today's Thoughtful Teacher Thursday and we have found an absolute beauty to share with you today.
This spontaneous teacher is a dare devil who loves trying new things. She recently went and ran with the bulls at San Fermin, Spain.
Sharing personal experiences and totems from her travels with her students and community helps her build strong positive relationships, which are so important in education.
We love the energy and enthusiasm she brings to her career and her passion for teaching resonates through her responses.
Here is more about the wonderful Miss Calautti...
Miss Tash Calautti
Aka Daring Digital Dynamo
Traveller, yogi and bull fighter
What is your current role and level of experience?
I am currently teaching Pre-Primary and have been for two years now! I am fairly new to teaching only graduating two years ago. I do have many dreams of going back to study and completing my Masters, but I am very happy teaching in the classroom at the moment.
What do you love most about teaching?
This is a question I have been asked a lot recently and struggle to find just one answer for! But if I had to narrow it down it would have to be the students! I love their energy each day regardless of the situation, they always come up with the greatest ideas and seeing their excitement for the learning experiences is what I love most about this job!
What are your strengths as a teacher?
I do enjoy being super organized! Not exactly sure if this is a strength, as my to-do list is never ending! However, I do believe being organized is crucial to good teaching. I really enjoy taking the children’s curiosities and using these to guide my lessons, however always knowing I have a backup option printed and prepped makes me feel a lot more confident about each lesson.
Describe yourself as a teacher in three words?
Oh this is a tricky one… but definitely spontaneous (I love taking ideas on the spot from the class and putting them into action straight away!). Secondly, I would say fair and lastly caring!
What things do you do to build strong positive relationships with your students?
Getting to know my students and their lives outside of school has been important to me in building a relationship. Knowing their interests, sporting commitments, siblings and parents really has helped me in getting to know each child. I like to use myself and my family as an example, I show photos of my pets and travels to the class and send home a letter to parents at the beginning of the school year to help families get to know me. It’s great to share similar interests with the children and I love seeing their reaction to places they too may have visited or the activities they have done with their families also!
How do you think we can better prepare beginning teachers for their career?
As a recent graduate myself, I would have loved more reassurance that I was on the right track. Hearing that what you are doing is good and ok, is so important for any teacher at any stage of their career. I also believe more knowledge about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ would have made my first year out much easier. All the information in regards to reporting, parent emails, student assessment, staffing goals, classroom management and the whole teacher registration process is a lot of information to take in and in some cases, find out on your own!
What has been your most rewarding teaching experience, please describe?
Each day I feel very lucky to experience many rewarding moments which make my job very special! From seeing students make a new friend or accomplish the monkey bars for the first time and even learn a new sight word, is a very special feeling for me as their teacher. However, my most rewarding teaching experience would have to be at the end of the school year where we hand out the students’ writing books. We take time and encourage them to look back to their very first writing piece. Seeing their faces and hearing them reflect on how far they have come is a very, very rewarding feeling!
Outline your favourite lesson to teach, what would you have the kids do?
I have MANY favourite lessons especially being in Pre-Primary as there are so many fun things to do! But I do enjoy teaching the Digital Tech subject area with my favorite lesson being on instructions. I pretend to be a robot and the students work together to describe how to make me (the robot) a ‘buttered sandwich’. I got the idea from a PD I went to on coding for kids. I just love seeing the students think aloud to give extremely precise instructions. Such a hard but important skill for students to develop, especially for early coding skills. This YouTube link has a great
demonstration of what I have modified!
What do you do to check in with yourself and stay focused on the job?
Asking the students regularly what they enjoy about school and the classroom helps me stay focused and also remain positive! Hearing what they enjoy about school always boosts my motivation as the students have such kind things to say! They also have such great ideas about what they want to learn about or have set up in the room, saving me lots of time thinking about what I can include in my planning! Additionally, I know they will enjoy it much more when it has come from them.
How do you manage your stress level and maintain positive well-being to be happy and teach well?
I try my best to leave school work for week days and have weekends to myself! I find having a to-do list each day helps me remain focused and use my time before and after school and during DOTT time wisely.
What's the most recent thing you have done that took you out of your comfort zone?
Totally un-school related but I did go running with the bulls in the last school holidays in Spain which was just UNREAL and extremely scary!
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of teaching?
I love being active! I am a huge fan of the beach and will take any chance I can get to be outside in the Sun! I enjoy yoga (especially at the beach) and also LOVE to travel in my school holidays!
The school year is winding down, what are you most excited for the remainder of the year?
I am very excited to see how far my students have come as we start to conduct our end of year assessments. I love sharing with them their successes and I am very excited to see them apply all the things we have learnt this year with more confidence!
Is there any particular area you would love to see covered by SMILE Teachers?
I have only recently found the smile teaching community and love reading what it is about and what they can offer! I would love to see some more teacher blogs and links to more fantastic resources!
Come and meet more amazing teachers at our Mindset Manoeuvre workshop on October 5th, where you can enjoy a day of awesome PD for the low starting price of $75, which includes coffee, lunch and drinks.
What about a Teachers Retreat in Bali? Sun, sand, cocktails and PD is the perfect way to start 2019 totally stress free.