Starfish Yrs 3 & 4
What is your background?
I am Melbourne girl and grew up in the surrounding North-Eastern suburbs. I come from a loving, close-knit family who are an integral and important part of my life. My family is in Melbourne and I am a frequent visitor.
I have completed a four year Bachelor of Education at RMIT University Melbourne.
I first began at Byron Community School as the Starfish teacher in 2005 where I taught full time until mid 2011, when my son was born. I now teach four days a week in the stage two Starfish class.
I live in Bangalow with my husband, our seven year old son Syd, our blue heeler, Ned, my black cat and numerous chickens.
What do you remember best about primary school?
Getting lost in reading! I think I had read every book in the school library by the time I reached year six. I enjoyed literature, writing, music and art.
What teaching qualifications do you have?
I completed my four-year Bachelor of Teaching at RMIT University in Melbourne. I completed a four-year Bachelor of Teaching at RMIT University, after which I moved to the Byron Shire in the early 1990s. I first began at the community school as the Starfish teacher in 2005. I taught full time until mid-2011 when my son was born. I now teach three days a week and job-share with Annie.
Where else have you worked and how has it shaped your general outlook and your approach to teaching children today?
My early teaching days were spent in the inner city of Melbourne.
I then moved to Byron area in my twenties and began teaching at an independent school in Lismore where I remained for nine years. The school was quite small, mainly children from low socio-economic and indigenous backgrounds, and predominantly boys.
My first year there I was the sole primary school teacher and taught K-6 in the one room. Those years were incredibly valuable to me, working with young indigenous children and their families, who often lived in confronting circumstances. It helped to form my firm belief that education can make a difference. The scope and dimensions of that role shaped my own teaching and learning practices, ensuring my classroom caters for diversity and fosters empathy, independence and respect. I learnt so much about young people, indigenous education and culture, and the type of teacher I wanted to become.
What are your main teaching and classroom philosophies?
My aim is for my students to become effective, independent learners who are ready to face the demands of an increasingly complex world. I incorporate a holistic view of each child – socially, emotionally and intellectually, to create a balanced program which can cater for many needs, to cover all academic areas and develop independence, tolerance, social flexibility and a new level of thinking. My hope is for children to develop a real love of learning and a genuine love for themselves and what they can achieve. I enjoy inspiring children to become excited about learning and feeling proud of their endeavours.
What/why do you enjoy teaching at BCPS?
I have been teaching at the Community School for many years now and I continue to find working in such a supportive learning environment rewarding and challenging.
It is a privilege to have the opportunity to make a difference to children’s lives and equip them with the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to take on the many challenges they will encounter throughout their lives. The Community School feels right for me, I can be extremely creative and innovative in what and how I teach and deliver my program.
What do you enjoy teaching the most?
The continuous cycle of learning! It is important to me to build a strong rapport and strengthen my relationship with my students and parents based on genuine trust and openness. To enhance personal resilience getting to really know my class, and their little idiosyncrasies. The feeling you get when you have had a breakthrough, watching the children in your care flourish and grow emotionally, socially and academically.
I have a passion for integrated hands on learning. My classroom is a productive and progressive learning environment with authentic discovery and inquiry-based lessons.
What is your greatest achievement?
I think giving birth to our amazing little boy. Professionally, to have been working as a passionate, creative educator for the Last 25 years.
What aspirations still lie ahead of you?
I love to travel, and it would be a wonderful experience to teach and live in another part of the world. I would love to find a creative outlet! I hope to pick up the beautiful guitar that my husband bought me and actually be able to play more than three chords! Write a book or two. Complete my Masters!
What occupies your time outside school hours?
My son, music, the ocean, outdoor living, I enjoy keeping fit, socialising with my family and friends, cooking, reading and pottering in my garden.
If you weren’t a primary teacher, how do you think you’d be spending your days?
I love working with children, I particularly love their honesty. I am interested in human nature, how people are wired! The psychology field, or some type of social justice work, music journo has crossed my mind. I’m also passionate about design and would love to pursue something creative one day!