Dolphins K1 & K2
What is your background?
I am a local boy! I was born here in 1979, I grew up in Ballina and attended both Ballina Primary School and Ballina High School. I am married and have two young daughters.
What do you remember best about primary school?
Our primary school was massive. I remember whole-school games of soccer and bullrush (British bulldogs). It must have looked so chaotic and dangerous but we all loved it.
What teaching qualifications do you have?
I have a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and NSW Teaching Certificate (DET)
Where else have you worked and how has it shaped your general outlook and your approach to teaching children today?
I taught English in Japan for two years to people of all ages, from 18-month-old babies to 80-year-old surgeons, although my main focus was teaching Japanese Kindergarten classes. I learned that introducing an element of fun in lessons can go a long way when teaching, no matter who the students are. When I returned to Australia, I found casual relief work in the area and eventually gained full-time employment at Wollongbar Primary School. I spent four of my five years at Wollongbar teaching Kindergarten and was given many professional development opportunities, learning from some of the best Kindergarten teachers the public system had to offer.
What are your main teaching and classroom philosophies?
Before I became a teacher I had many jobs; hospitality, retail, childcare and a lot of construction work. I feel blessed to have worked in variety of fields and I have learned from all of them. I love that I am able to bring something from all my past vocations to what I do now. Education isn’t limited to the classroom – it is all around us. The gardens, buildings, animals, people and environment offer endless possibilities and stimuli for us to learn. Making learning relevant to our lives and the world around us promotes instant engagement.
What/why do you enjoy teaching at BCPS?
The moment I walked in, I knew I liked this place! The buildings were mid-construction, there was red tape everywhere, workers in hard hats and people in cramped spaces. But amongst all of this was a bustling sea of children, calmly interacting in what ordinarily would not have seemed a calm environment at all. All of the staff, students and parents were so relaxed and positive, which was something I had not seen in the public sector. Students spoke to adults as individuals and with respect, which was eye-opening and refreshing. Before I came to BCPS, I honestly didn’t know a school like this existed. The first day of each term I am reminded of how special it is, when I see all the students skipping in, genuinely excited to be back at school. We are very lucky and should keep reminding ourselves of this fact. I am very proud to be a part of this school.
What do you enjoy teaching the most?
Of course am I biased, being the Kindergarten teacher, but the only thing I have found more rewarding than teaching someone to read and write for the first time is seeing them mature and use these skills later in life.
What is your greatest achievement?
My family – I am happily married with two little girls.
What aspirations still lie ahead of you?
Refining the art of teaching Kindergarten – I still have plenty to learn – and finding some work/home life balance.
Do you teach any subjects other than your regular class?
For the past two years I have taught personal development lessons to Year Two classes as well as physical education and athletics training for the whole school. I am the school’s PD/H/PE co-ordinator and I am passionate about instilling healthy lifestyle practices.
What occupies your time outside school hours?
My family and surfing!
If you weren’t a primary teacher, how do you think you’d be spending your days?
Surfing, gardening and playing with my girls.