How long have you been a teacher and when did you start at BGS?
I have been a teacher for 10 years having graduated in 2010. This is my second year teaching at BGS.
Why were you inspired to become a teacher?
I come from a family of teachers with my three sisters and mum all working in education. While I have been surrounded by teachers my entire life, it took me a few years to find the profession after working in various areas beforehand. While running a kids' holiday program on Fraser Island, I realised I had a passion for working with young people and really enjoyed watching them learn a new skill and be proud of their achievements. After that, I knew I wanted to pursue teaching.
What do you enjoy most about teaching BGS boys?
The thing I love about teaching boys at BGS is their love of learning and thirst for knowledge. The vast majority of students have an avid interest to extend themselves in the classroom, which makes teaching and learning a fluid and exciting process.
While this eagerness to learn is an obvious drive for the boys, I also find that the BGS values – learning, leadership, endeavour, respect and community – underpin everything we do, both in and out of the classroom. This makes for a culture that is truly enjoyable to be a part of.
How do you make your classroom fun for students?
A large part of my philosophy of teaching is centred around the concept that students are more inclined to develop thoughtful thinking strategies when enjoying the learning environment (the classroom). For this reason, I look for every opportunity to make lessons fun, engaging, and interactive. I do this by incorporating a range of hands-on activity, using real-life situations related to content and finding humour where possible.
What’s your favourite lesson/topic to teach and why?
Being educated in primary school teaching, I have studied and taught most subjects and have really enjoyed the different teaching experiences. It may sound cliché, but my favourite lessons to teach are when students deeply engage with the content, and their learning and thinking are visible. This can be evident in the most elaborately planned science experiment or in a simple mathematics activity.
How has teaching changed since you started?
I feel teaching has changed in several ways in the past 10 years. While this has been partly due to alterations in curriculum (the introduction of the Australian Curriculum) and the emergence of technology, one of the largest changes I have seen is the awareness of the social and emotional issues facing our youth today. Although these issues are certainly not new, I feel our wellbeing curriculum has developed and continues to develop to give our students the tools to best face today's world.
Do you think the way students learn will change over the next decade?
Education is going through a technological transformation both inside our classrooms and at home. The ready access to information and wide range of educational programs continues to take the teaching profession away from the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ and into an age where both students and teachers can control the direction in which they can tackle a problem. While information technology can offer students and teachers an array of options, with this comes its own issues in monitoring and responsible use of technology.
What achievement are you most proud of as a teacher?
It is hard to pinpoint one achievement over the 10 years, but I would say having each student walking into class with a smile on their face, happy to be at school and ready to learn, is an achievement in itself. Building a culture and classroom atmosphere where boys feel safe and happy is one of the most understated yet valuable achievements a teacher can be rewarded with.
If you had to name one thing that sets the BGS Middle School apart from other schools, what would it be?
I would have to say the culture that is developed and cultivated in the Middle School. The way in which students interact with respect and kindness towards other students and staff is an aspect of our school that makes it quite unique. This culture is visible in classrooms, in the playground, and in the wider community. It is certainly the cornerstone of everything BGS does.