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Q&A with Middle School teacher Sarah Lindsay

How long have you been a teacher and when did you start at BGS?

I first started teaching at BGS in 2016 and have recently returned after teaching interstate for the past two years. I am currently a Year 5 Form Tutor, teaching Mathematics and Science. I have been very fortunate during my 12 years of experience in education. Teaching has provided me with opportunities to take on diverse roles, travelling across Australia to teach a variety of different subjects and year levels.

Why were you inspired to become a teacher?

I have always had a love of learning and helping people – teaching is the perfect combination of the two. As a student, I was naturally inquisitive and enthusiastic about Science and Mathematics, and I enjoyed helping my peers. I can still recall those teachers that made ‘boring’ content engaging and fun! It was those teachers that truly motivated me to do my best and pursue a career in education. It’s at the heart of why I became a teacher.

What do you enjoy most about teaching BGS boys?

BGS boys are brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity. They are keen to develop their knowledge and skills and are so supportive of one another in the process. Their high energy enhances our learning community and inspires me to further develop my own teaching practice.

How do you make your classroom fun for students?

At every opportunity, I try and integrate my students’ interests into lessons – no lesson is ever the same! Providing lots of opportunities to participate in collaborative, hands-on activities with the ability to move around the room, particularly in Science, definitely engages the students. A sense of humour is a must – I'm sure my Year 5 classes have appreciated my comedic efforts this year.

What’s your favourite lesson/topic to teach and why?

This is a very difficult question to answer as there are too many to choose from. I love teaching the Biological Science units. Biology has always intrigued me and I enjoy sharing the complexities of living things and how they interact with their environment, with my students. In Year 5, we complete a unit called Adaptations – here we learn about how different animals and plants have evolved to thrive in their environment. It is wonderful to see the boys become fascinated by the different structures and features of different organisms, often engaging in rich, meaningful discussions with each other – many of them wanting to become the next David Attenborough!

How has teaching changed since you started?

I think the rapid integration of technology has had a significant impact on the teaching profession and how students learn. There is always something new to learn and something new to try for both teachers and students. We are upskilling at an incredible rate. Teachers have a responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of technology within their classrooms – what may be suitable and effective in one setting, may not be ideal in another. Continually reviewing and reflecting on our technology use will ensure we stay at the forefront of educational practices, ready for the next technological innovation.

Do you think the way students learn will change over the next decade?

The way students learn will continue to change. The most recent period of home-based learning is evidence of this. In a very short period of time, students were quickly upskilled across a variety of software platforms best suited for learning in a home-based environment. Learning became more self-regulated, individualised and flexible in some instances. Upon return to school, we are now reviewing and reflecting upon the experience and developing future practice. It is an exciting time to be in education!

What achievement are you most proud of as a teacher?

I am most proud when I can develop a student’s self-confidence and be able to guide them and trigger those ‘ah-ha’ moments. Celebrating the little wins with them throughout their learning journey is very rewarding. It is always reaffirming when former students come back to visit you and note the impact you had on their academic achievement and wellbeing while at school. There have been so many memorable and rewarding moments.

If you had to name one thing that sets the BGS Middle School apart from other schools, what would it be?

There is an overwhelming sense of community within the BGS Middle School. There is a genuine culture of collaboration and inclusivity among the students and staff. It is an absolute pleasure coming into work knowing you are part of a generous, caring and joyful community.

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