Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn
Since I started teaching in 2017, I have learnt that a school is so much more than a place where knowledge is passed from one generation to the next. It is a place where children can develop a love of learning and build their character as well as form meaningful relationships with their peers, teachers and God. It is also a place where young children have the opportunity to learn about and question the world around them in a safe environment. As a primary school teacher, I feel privileged to be part of each child’s journey.
Working at Hurstville Adventist School, I have been blessed with colleagues who are always willing to support and share their knowledge and expertise. We work together as a team to implement programs that benefit all students that come under our care.
A passion of mine is teaching literacy, with a focus on Phonics. I teach phonics through explicit instruction where we focus on chants, repetition and breaking down key elements of the English language. Learning to explicitly teach phonics and witnessing the huge improvements my students have made in their reading and writing is so rewarding.
I believe there is also a time and place for inquiry-based learning where I teach my students to ask questions, form ideas, make predictions and come to conclusions about what they have discovered. Something else I have learnt during my teaching is the importance of setting achievable goals for students. These goals can only be achieved by knowing your students. By setting achievable goals, students experience success and are able to work in their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’. This means that each child, with some guidance and support, is able to work at a level where they are challenged but not struggling.
Over the years, I have learnt that while these aspects of teaching are essential, there is one factor that cannot be ignored in order to make learning meaningful. It is the importance of developing empathy and positive relationships with my students. Every child that walks into any classroom wants to be heard, valued and cared for. Teachers then have this extraordinary opportunity to create strong and unforgettable relationships with each student by showing that they are invested, not only in their education, but also in each unique individual. Taking the time to learn about a child’s interests and needs makes them feel special and helps them experience greater success and ownership of their own learning.
Teaching is exciting and rewarding and at times can be demanding, but when you see the smiles on your student’s faces and the ‘light bulb’ moments when they have understood or discovered something new, it all becomes worth it.
Through my career in teaching, I strive to foster a love for learning and equip my students with the knowledge and skills to becoming life-long independent thinkers and learners. So, when faced with the challenges of society and life, they are able to face them with the knowledge, skills and belief that they can overcome anything.