team_lizWhales (5&6) Teacher

1. What is your background?

I’ve been at this school as the year 5/6 teacher for 10 years. I have just had 2 years off school on a sabbatical. My husband, Sean and I travelled to South East Asia, Europe, Mexico, South America, North America and Taiwan, a lot on it on push bikes. I think we did about 12,000 km by bike.

I have taught in the UK and in the public system, in a great forward thinking school in Bendigo, Victoria called Eaglehawk North Primary. I was there for 5 years. After that I travelled around Australia for 6 months in a caravan with two dogs. We ended up in Lennox Head where my sister was living. I was lucky enough to acquire a job at BCPS to cover maternity leave for Emma! As it turns out there was a position available in the Whales room and I have been here since. I met my husband Sean 10 years ago and we’ve been married for 4 years. He has two kids Liam and Elise.

2. What do you remember best about primary school?

I remember all my teachers. I absolutely adored all of them. I loved Friday arvos where the incinerator would be lit up and the smell would remind me of Fridays. We had a giant playground and I loved the monkey bars and spinning around on them. Lunch orders were sausage rolls and apple turnovers. I used to walk home about 3 km every day or ride my bike.

3. What teaching qualifications do you have?

I started teaching in the UK in the late 90’s as I lived there for 10 years and I put myself through uni. I received a 2.1 Honours, Batchelor Degree in Education majoring in Art and Religion in 1997.

4. Where else have you worked and how has it shaped your general outlook and your approach to teaching children today?

It’s made me realise how lucky the kids are here and what a great place we live in.

5. What are your main teaching and classroom philosophies?

My teaching philosophy revolves around my core beliefs that children firstly need to be happy and settled in order to learn. I believe the kids need to feel valued, respected and heard. Our room aims to create an atmosphere of acceptance and empathy. I believe the children should find the enthusiasm to want to learn and make good decisions without external rewards. I want them to know that not everything in life is fun and you need to work hard to achieve, but success is achievable. Also it is important that the children know their strengths in learning as well as their weaknesses. They should know that I have their back whatever happens, as they are part of the Whales team.

6. Why do you enjoy teaching at BCPS?

Great staff and great kids.

7. What do you enjoy teaching the most?

I love teaching and I look forward to coming in everyday. I see it as an honour and a privilege to be teaching at our school. I love the sense of belonging and watching it evolve over the time I have been here.  I hope to be here for the foreseeable future.

8. What is your greatest achievement?

It must be riding in lots of the world through non touristy parts of countries. There is heaps more of this to come in the future.

9. What aspirations still lie ahead of you?

Travel is a passion of mine. We aim to continue our trip around the world in years to come. This time starting in Santiago, Chile and riding north back to Colombia – Cartegena. We’d also like to cross North America and Europe by bike. We have a mini trip planned for Africa coming up in a couple of years.

10. What occupies your time outside school hours?

Outside of school time I spend a lot of time on our property. We are regenerating it with native trees and hoping to encourage native wildlife back into it. We still ride our bikes! I love hanging out at the beach, being with friends and socialising. I also like reading and cooking and this year I want to get back into running and go into the Gold Coast 10km run again. I am also continuing to learn Spanish.

11. If you weren’t a primary teacher, how do you think you’d be spending your days?

Who knows as it hasn’t happened like that.

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