How long have you been a teacher and when did you start at BGS?
This is my fourth year of teaching and my first year at BGS. I started teaching in 2015 at a primary school in Springfield where I taught Year 3 and Year 5. I am now teaching Year 6 at BGS.
Why were you inspired to become a teacher?
My mum is a teacher and as a little girl I was always inspired by the passion she had for teaching. I used to spend hours pretending to have my own class, just like her. This love for teaching was only strengthened as I journeyed from primary to high school. I had some wonderful teachers, including my senior History teacher, who inspired me to study History at University. My teachers have always been there to support and motivate me and I wanted to help the next generation in the same way my teachers had helped me. I've always wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students.
What do you enjoy most about teaching BGS boys?
The boys at BGS are respectful and dedicated to making the most of the opportunities that they are presented with. They are genuinely inquisitive and want to learn. The boys bring energy, enthusiasm and humour into the classroom and they challenge me to see things from a different perspective, which I really value.
How do you make your classroom fun for students?
I like to use games and competitions to enhance the learning experience, for example, using Kahootz, playing Recap Pictionary or splitting the class up into the Allies and Central Powers when learning about WWI. The boys find this particularly enjoyable when a delicious reward is on offer! I also like to think that I use my quick wit to bring humour into the classroom. The success of this is highly debated. Mostly though, we like to dance. I'm yet to master the 'floss', but at least I no longer think it has something to do with dental hygiene!
What's your favourite lesson/topic to teach and why?
I thoroughly enjoy teaching History. As a teacher I want to equip my students with the skills and tools they need to become informed global citizens and I believe History allows me to teach them the skills of inquiry, which are incredibly valuable for students to become independent and empowered learners. This year I've been fortunate to teach Year 6 students about Australian Federation and the formation of parliament. This culminated in an engaging mock parliament where the students experienced the voting process, sat in parliament and passed a bill. I'm looking forward to our trip to Canberra, which will reinforce what students have learnt throughout the unit and give me a great opportunity to earn the respect of the boys, as I continuously fall over on the ski slopes!
How has teaching changed since you started?
We are currently going through a period of change as we move to the ATAR system and it has become apparent that students need to be equipped with effective thinking skills. It is important that as teachers we teach the boys to become independent thinkers who can thrive within our changing community. Throughout my teaching career I've experienced changes in resources and the way that technology can be used to enhance, assist and engage students in their learning. I'm excited to see how I can continue to use technology effectively within the classroom and grow my skillset alongside my students.
Do you think the way students learn will change over the next decade?
I believe that the learning environment and culture will continue to change, with the emphasis being on students who can effectively problem solve and collaborate. I think the advances in technology will continue to enhance the way students engage with the curriculum and I believe that students need to be equipped with transferable thinking skills necessary to navigate our changing world and become informed global citizens.
What achievement are you most proud of as a teacher?
It's difficult to pinpoint an achievement that I'm most proud of. When students leave my classroom and find out more about a topic, I know that I've inspired them to be inquisitive and active learners. As a teacher it's those moments where you know you have helped a student to learn something new, master a new skill, or when they get excited about their learning that I know I've facilitated that learning and been successful in my work. It's that 'I get it' moment, that makes it all worthwhile.
If you had to name one thing that sets BGS Middle School apart from other schools what would it be?
Opportunities. The boys at BGS are provided with so many amazing opportunities both academically and through the extracurricular programs on offer. The School provides first class resources that ensure the boys' success as they journey through the School. The Middle School at BGS has created a supportive and caring community where diversity is embraced and valued.