Meet our 2018 nominees for the Laurie Brady Award for Teaching Excellence, a prize that acknowledges outstanding teaching ability in the school classroom.
When I was younger and my parents asked me what I wanted to be I had all kinds of ideas... some more realistic than others. However, all of those ideas stemmed around 3 basic criteria; I wanted to work somewhere that would challenge me every day to learn new things, I didn't want to have a job that would keep me restricted to a job and I wanted to work somewhere that no two days were ever the same. I didn't realise for a long time that I had described teaching so perfectly, but I'm glad I have been able to fulfil all of those criteria and find a career that I am so passionate about. I look forward to my future endeavours as an educator and all of the challenges and triumphs along the way.
Ever since I was a young child I loved teaching, I loved showing people and my teddy bears alike how to do something or sharing with them what I had just learnt. I love seeing students' eyes light up as they discover and understand what I have been trying to teach them. I love the opportunity being a teacher gives me to inspire the next generation to be confident, active citizens in our society.
I love having the opportunity to encourage them and be the voice cheering them on to accomplish their goals.
My decision to become a teacher is one I reached later in life, after real-world experience in diverse industries I realised a passion for education. I enjoy the idea of diverse learning and finding a way to enhance the individual based on passion. As an associate teacher the aspects which enriched me were in seeing the learning progression of students and making knowledge attainable to all students despite their background or abilities, I love the idea that my classroom is a place in which every student is equally valued and equally able to learn in their own style.
I always wanted to work with kids in some capacity, and it took a while to figure out what that was. I started in early childhood care almost straight from school and really enjoyed working in that environment. After a while, moving into primary school teaching felt a natural progression and going on practicum reinforced the rewards that come from motivating and engaging students. I love the 'lightbulb' moment that can be seen when kids understand a concept and the confidence that comes when you can inspire them to believe in themselves and what they can learn. I can't think of anything more rewarding, I am so excited for my future in teaching!
I started my tertiary education adventure at a different university. Unsatisfied with the program I decided to enrol at UTS. I can honestly say every part of the program offered has been a highlight. I value the genuine support and openness of all the education staff.
I am extremely grateful for all the practical opportunities that UTS has provided, and feel that this has prepared me for my future career as an educator.
When I finished school, I started to work with children and I realised how much I loved it. Working with children helped me to see how teachers have the incredible opportunity to inspire and motivate young children by helping them to realise their abilities and joy for learning. Throughout my high school experience, I didn’t always enjoy my experiences and there were many times when I struggled. However, there were some very special teachers who always took the time to support me and helped me believe in myself again. They had such a positive impact on my life and I aspire to be that for all my students, particularly those who may need a little bit of extra motivation.
An incredible educator and inspiration to me, Rita Pierson, once said “teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks... who had a champion.. an adult who will never give up on them.” As a teacher, I strive to be that champion for my students.
It was throughout my own schooling experience that I decided I wanted to become a teacher. I know when I look back, I think of the teachers who stood out to me and made a difference in the way I thought or learnt. As I reached the end of high school I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I believe teaching is a rewarding career and this has been evident through my many placements, particularly the last two when I saw such improvements in the achievements of the students.
I can’t wait to be apart of those moments.
I craved a meaningful career, to work in an environment that nurtures a love of learning and to contribute to my community. The opportunities for coaching and managing teams for my sons fuelled my ambition to become a primary school teacher. My aim is to become an effective teacher in NSW Public schools as they promote inclusivity and support the multicultural society we live in, which aligns with my personal teaching philosophy of inclusive and equitable classrooms. I strongly believe that teachers have an important role in guiding children to learn to think critically, encourage and empower students that their actions can and will have an impact far beyond the walls of their classroom. To guide and provide them with opportunities to explore and demonstrate how they might achieve change locally and globally. To inspire students to foster a love of learning so they can become responsible members of our society.
If you’d asked me 5 years ago if I saw myself working with children in future I would have laughed in your face. After deferring my Communication degree for a year and (for some reason) starting a job as a swim teacher I realised my passion for teaching children. The following year I transferred to Primary Education and haven’t looked back. UTS exposes you to as much classroom professional experience time as frequently as possible, and eventually, you complete your four-week internship unsupervised. This was daunting at first but I wholeheartedly believe that this has prepared me for the “real world” of teaching. I have friends graduating this year with primary education degrees from other universities who have never been unsupervised in a classroom. Without the support of UTS Education staff and the unique professional experience program, I would be nowhere near as confident to step into the teaching profession as I am today.
Sally Van Der Vegt
I chose a career in teaching because I love kids and I like to learn new things. I am excited and passionate about guiding young children through the teaching and learning process. Each and every day is so unique and different and I love the energy that each child brings to the classroom.
As a firm believer that learning is constant and continuous, the relationships that my peers and I have been able to form with our tutors has been inspiring. Being able to listen, share and collaborate with experienced teachers has not only provided a nurturing and supportive environment throughout our course but it has also prepared us professionally for our teaching careers.
I wanted to become a teacher because I love watching people grow. I love witnessing those moments when students get up and bounce back from their failures. Nothing makes me happier than seeing children smile and watching them succeed! I also love coming up with new ideas on how to engage students in their learning and hope to inspire them to pursue their interests.
Other nominees include Jennifer Hughes and Charlotte Exton.
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