I am a teacher.
I started a Bachelor of Science in 1991 at James Cook University. During my final year of high school, I had a grand mal seizure. I took medication for twelve months to be able to get my licence and drive. I failed the first six months of my university due to the sedative effects of medication. It was my parents' dream that their children complete a degree. My flatmate was studying education with a light schedule so I changed course mid 1991.
I listened to other undergraduates talk of always knowing that they wanted to be a teacher. For me, it was a means to an end. After graduation, I was offered a position at the primary school where I spent my final practicum. I accepted the job trusting something more suitable would arise in time.
The end of this year marks 24 years as a teacher. I was always meant to be a teacher. To touch the life of one student in a way that would change the trajectory of his or her life, including every generation following, became my success criteria over time. I spent 18 years at a school with students from low-socio economic, Indigenous and special needs backgrounds. When forced transfers saw many long serving teachers leave schools, my principal made note that my role, Teaching and Learning Support Teacher, was integral to the school's Annual Implementation Plan.
2014 saw the beginning of my work with teachers to support student learning. Data analysis showed an increasing number of students entering school with delays in oral language development. I pursued every avenue to build my capabilities. I followed the work of a Melbourne University researcher and applied his pedagogical practices. I read widely, worked collaboratively with outside expertise and completed courses online to enhance my work. Many students were achieving significant gains due to the ongoing data analysis which evidenced every change in teacher practice. Other students were not.
It was then that I was reminded of a student I had taught a few years prior. An absolute delight who lived with her grandmother. Many traumatic experiences were shared by both the child and her grandmother. I referred her to the Guidance Officer to conduct an assessment as she had made little progress. Her IQ came out as above average. Could it have been trauma that limited this child's and others' progress? My research into this area lead me to Central Queensland University and Brain Based Education. I completed one subject, achieving a HD, before my husband decided that being married was no longer in his life plan. I brought my children home to family in Rockhampton.
Currently I hold a position in Regional Office as the region's coach to lift outcomes for students from Indigenous language backgrounds. I am a teacher.