Updated: Sep 28, 2018
We have a very special Feature Teacher for you today!
This wonderful trio of passionate educators have a fabulous team built on trust, passion and fun! They spread happiness and joy in their classrooms and we thank them for their very thorough and thoughtful responses they have provided Smile Teachers today.
Three Teach Three
Find them on Instagram @three.teach.three
Caitlin, Lisa and Ellie
How long have you each been teaching for?
Caitlin - Almost 9 years! I started off my first year of teaching at an Independent school with 20 ESL Reception students. Decided to get into the Public Schools system the following year and got offered a contract at our current school teaching PE, Music, Drama and a variety of other things around the school! I got offered a 3/4 class for my third year. Although I loved it at Westport, I then moved to Townsville for a year and a half and was an OSHC Director. Ended up back at Westport in the middle of 2014 and have been here ever since teaching either 3/4 or straight Year 3s. I was fortunate enough to score permanency in 2017.
Lisa - 8 years! I took a 6 month contract when I was in my final semester of uni- teaching at a wonderful Catholic Primary School in Millicent in the South East. The following year I was back in Adelaide and picked up a few TRT days early on, Westport being one of the schools! From there, it turned into a PE contract and a variety of others roles. I landed permanency in 2013! This is my first year ever teaching Year 3s.
Ellie -This is my second year of teaching so I am the rookie in three.teach.three! After finishing my uni degree in 2016 I did a volunteer trip to Africa and when I returned home in 2017, I was offered a teaching contract at Westport teaching Receptions, PE, Preschool and Upper Primary students! This year on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I teach Junior Primary Health & PE and on Thursdays and Fridays I am lucky to work in our Year 3 class that I share with Lisa!
How long has the Three Teach Three team been together?
Caitlin - 2018 has been our first year together as a team! Lisa and I both started at Westport in the same year so we have maintained a strong friendship since then. When the opportunity came up for us to teach Year 3 together we were over the moon! Adding Ellie to our team was the icing on the cake! This has definitely been my favourite year teaching so far :)
What do you love most about your current role?
Lisa - I work part-time as I have two little girls (1 and 3) so it has been a great way to ease back into the classroom! I have absolutely loved working alongside Caitlin each day this year- she’s helped me a lot. The best thing about our three.teach.three team is we share the load. We all have our different subjects and topics that we have agreed to plan and teach- so less planning overall which is a win for all of us!
What are your strengths as a team?
Ellie - Where do I start?! Firstly, we are all very passionate, collaborative and hardworking individuals which I think is the key to make any team work effectively! I think what makes us unique is our supportiveness and sense of humour. Teaching is a very demanding profession so having a laugh and lifting each other up on tough days is so important! Caitlin has had the most experience in a Year 3 teaching environment, so Lisa and I always value her feedback and guidance in our team. We also call her ‘Captain’ because she is an amazing leader! As I co-teach with Lisa, I value her support and effective communication about her 3 days of teaching in our class, which always makes for a smooth transition.
Describe your class in one sentence?
39 wonderful little legends each with their own special quirks!
What things do you do to build strong positive relationships with your students?
Lisa- Here is my top 5:
- Show a genuine interest in your students and their lives- remember things about each of them and ask questions.
-LISTEN to your students and their stories (no matter how long it may take for them to tell you!)
-Share with them stories about you- make connections, share experiences & funny stories.
-Be a little silly sometimes! (Check out our recent staff Wally dance!
-Apologise when you make a mistake- show them we are human too and everyone makes mistakes.
How do you think we can better develop teachers to succeed?
Ellie - By developing collaborative and supportive networks for teachers. Gaining others perspectives and advice makes me feel reassured and supported so that I can achieve my best. At our school we recently held a ‘Westport Summit’ where teachers could learn from each other by holding a 30 minute session on a particular focus. I thoroughly enjoyed this day and I felt I developed many new skills as an educator.
Outline your favourite lesson to teach, what would you have the kids do?
Caitlin - I love teaching Art! Our students love using the drawing tutorials on Art For Kids Hub. I love their reactions when they succeed in their drawings and how unique each piece looks, even though we were all following the same tutorial.
What do you do to check in with yourself and make sure you are teaching well?
Lisa - What I love most about our teaching team is we are all extremely comfortable with one another. On most afternoons we debrief and reflect on the day we’ve had, we give each other feedback and advice and if something really wasn’t working we talk about what we will change for the following day to make sure we are getting not only the best teaching out of us but the best learning out of our students.
How do you manage your emotions and maintain positive well-being when you're having a bad day?
Ellie - I think we manage our emotions and maintain a positive well-being by allowing ourselves to be open with each other about how we are genuinely feeling. It is important to surround yourself with people that can help lift you when you are having a tough day. I feel very comfortable to talk to either of my three.teach.three girls if I am having a bad day. We also have a very supportive staff community which is very helpful. I think as teachers it can be very hard to ‘switch off’ after school if you have had a bad day. So I like to go on a run, play sport or go for a walk and listen to music to tune out. Also chocolate always boosts my mood so make sure you have a stash in your teaching desk!
What's the most recent win you have had with a student?
Caitlin - It’s hard to choose just one student but it has been amazing to see the growth of all of our students throughout the year! Our school provides individual student targets each term in the areas of reading, number and writing and it’s been wonderful seeing them achieve their targets and celebrating their successes.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of teaching?
Caitlin - Relaxing and spending time with my loved ones is my number one. I love nothing more than a lazy day at home in my PJs watching Netflix after a long week of teaching! I also love my footy and supporting Port Adelaide in the AFL, attending most home games and watching the away games from the comfort of my couch!
Lisa - I just love quality time with my family! I love my job and there is no better school than where I work, although nothing beats Thursdays and Fridays home with my two beautiful girls! I also love sport (playing and watching), I love travelling when we get a chance and1 when summer comes you’ll find me at the beach or in a pool most of the time!
Ellie - If I am not teaching I am involved in sport. I love running with my training squad and going to the gym. I coach athletics and netball and I enjoy managing athletes on state trips. I love spending time with my boyfriend and my family, I have two nieces that I absolutely spoil and adore! I also love travelling and camping.
The school year is winding down, what are you most excited for the remainder of the year?
Lisa - Term 4 is always really busy and exciting for us! There is never a week where we don’t have something happening! We have just finished celebrating our whole school Mega Musical which was a huge success! Some exciting events coming up for us next term are our School Disco, Year 7 Graduation, Christmas Assembly and our most favourite of all - Sports Day!
....oh, and our staff end of year show (haha!)
Is there any particular area you would love to see covered by SMILE Teachers?
Ellie - I think the blog content that SMILE Teachers has been providing is very helpful and interesting. I enjoy reading other teachers advice and what they are doing in their classrooms. I think promoting positive well-being is vital in teaching, especially in today’s society so it is important to keep providing advice and support for teachers when they are experiencing stress. Keep it up SMILE teachers!
Smile Teachers would like to thank Three Teach Three for their contribution!
We are hoping to bring our Mindset Manoeuvre workshop to their school soon.
You may also be able to catch them on our Bali Teacher's Retreat in January. We hope to see you there!