Bringing to Smile Teachers a very special primary teacher from the far north of WA.
She is a passionate and super happy young teacher who share her teaching journey with all of us.
You can check out the live chat by visiting our Facebook page.
What is your current role and level of experience?
I am a second year graduate teacher. I am currently teaching in a remote aboriginal community in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I am the Kindy teacher and 0-3 community program coordinator. As my Kindy kids come 5 days a week until recess I also provide DOTT to other teachers.
My role also includes taking:
· Pre-Primary for Maths, Science and Library
· Year 1/2 class for Science and HASS
· Year 4/5 class for Art
What do you love most about working in education?
Teaching is my creative outlet! I love to create engaging and hands on lessons for the kids. I also really love nurturing my kids and helping them to succeed both personally and academically. Above everything else, I just love how happy teaching makes me. There is never a day that I don’t laugh and leave my classroom without a smile on my face.
If we were to walk into your classroom on a Monday morning, what would we see?
What I love about this job is that no two Mondays are the same. They might be similar but never the same. A typical Monday morning for me is hanging out with the kids before school, chatting about the weekend. When the day starts there is lots of singing and phonological awareness activities. My school is an EDI school so we do Let’s Decode and Daily review in the morning before moving into more play based learning.
How is your school unique and what surprises you on most days?
Well my school is in a remote Aboriginal school so that’s pretty unique. Our kids definitely aren’t disadvantaged because of their location. I love that the staff have very high expectations of the students but at the same time also really embrace their culture. I’m always learning new things about indigenous culture. I love when the kids teach me their language. They always have a story to tell about their weekend. It definitely helps to know a few key words in language.
Community engagement surprises me the most. The school and community work together in harmony. We are always hosting staff vs. students vs. community sporting events. These are some of my favourite things to participate in. I love that everyone can come together and have some fun.
What things do you do to build strong positive relationships with your students?
I genuinely care for them and take an interest in who they are. I like to sit and eat lunch with the kids once a week and chat with them. I like to know what their interests are and what they have been getting up to in the community. They are always interested to hear my stories about my family back in Perth and love to see photos.
How can we better support teachers to do their job effectively?
By supporting them to manage the workload by sharing ideas, resources and planning.
What has been your most rewarding teaching experience, please describe?
The most rewarding experience for me has been reflecting on my first year out as a teacher. Both myself and my kids have come so far! I’m very proud of how far my Kindy kids have come both socially and academically. I have seen so much growth. A lot of my students arrived in my classroom with no prior knowledge of basic concepts. Looking at what they can do now just blows me away!
I feel like I have grown so much professionally in this past year. My professional highlight would have to be getting filmed delivering my Daily Review to my Kindy class. This video was used as part of a professional learning session that had been delivered on numerous occasions across Perth and the Kimberley.
When the happiest teaching, what would you be doing?
I would definitely be reading a book. I love reading to the kids. Nothing makes me happier than cuddling up with the kids and reading them a good non-fiction story.
How do you manage your stress level and maintain positive well-being to be happy and teach well?
I’m very passionate about taking time out from teaching to do the things that I love. It’s very easy to become consumed by teaching. I’m all about having some ‘me time.’
I love cooking a yummy breakfast. (I would prefer to go out for breakfast, but at least I have learned how to poach my own eggs up here). I also think that you can never under estimate the power of a walk. In Perth I love walking along the coast but up here I will walk down to the creek and back. It’s such a simple but effective way to unwind and clear the mind. I also try to get all of my work done at school. I don’t mind staying after school a little later if it means that I don’t have to bring work home with me. I like to keep my weekends free for doing what makes me happy. I will do a little bit of work if I need to, but I try to limit it to only a couple of hours if needed.
What makes you unique?
I think what makes me unique is my big personality. I can get a bit carried away in the moment. I’m always singing and dancing my way through the school day.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of teaching?
It’s a little hard to answer this question with my context up here. I live in a town of just 30 people so I spend a lot of time socialising with my colleagues outside of school. I often joke that I have a better social life up here than I did in Perth. It is very rare that we aren’t doing something up here. We make our own fun.
Describe one piece of advice you would give to your former self before becoming a teacher?
Always believe in yourself!
What are you most excited for the remainder of the 2018 school year?
As I am returning to Perth at the end of this school year I am really looking forward to enjoying every last minute I have with the kids. I am very excited for the Christmas concert. The staff cook a barbeque dinner for the community and the kids and we all enjoy a casual meal together before the Christmas concert begins. Throughout the concert we give out plenty of awards and prizes to all of our little super stars. The concert finishes with a visit from Santa who hands out a present to each of the kids. It is such a special evening and I have no doubt it will be the highlight of my year.
Is there any particular area you would love to see SMILE Teachers deliver for your school?
I think everything that is happening with Smile Teacher is fantastic! I would like to see SMILE deliver any of their key programs.
Smile Teachers endeavours to reach 100 schools in 2019, where we will run our programs for staff, students or the whole school.
No matter where you are in Australia, please get in touch for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org