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Teachers Rule, OK?!

Teachers Rule, OK?!

We have already received so many nominations and entries are about to close for haven’s favourite teacher competition. If your teacher absolutely rocks then you need to nominate them today!

We all remember a teacher who changed our life, yet teachers are leaving the profession in droves. haven magazine wants to celebrate the amazing work that teachers do and so put together ‘Haven’s favourite teacher competition’.

We have already received so many nominations – it’s going to be hard to pick a winner. Luckily though we have national parenting blogger Sam Jockel, otherwise known as School Mum, on board to help us pick the winner.

“As a parent to three children, I find it exhausting looking after them most of the time, even when hubby is around to help out. I can’t imagine how challenging it would be at times to have a class of up to 30 kids to not only look after but also teach stuff too!” Sam says. “If you ask me, teachers are superheroes and I take my hat o to them for all the time and support they give to our kids day in and day out.” haven magazine publisher Keeley O’Connor says teachers change the world every single day, yet they never receive enough of thanks for the amazing, yet very stressful, work they do.

“Teachers really have one of the most important jobs in the world,” Keeley says. “I still remember the teachers who made a real difference in my life from when I was in school. What I learned from them has stuck with me forever.”

TeacherOne local teacher making a world of difference to hundreds, if not thousands, of local kids is Jeanette McDonald who has been a teacher for more than 30 years. She is currently an English teacher and head of senior schooling at Robina State High School, where she has worked since it opened 21 years ago.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A TEACHER?
I actually started my studies in biomedical science. I had been offered a full scholarship with New South Wales Education for teaching so when I left biomed I worked with the Federal Government and then took up the scholarship. I love the intensity of the curriculum and how you can take a student and show them how the world works or open their mind up to explore different possibilities.

TELL US ABOUT THE EARLY PART OF YOUR CAREER
I taught for a couple of years and then had kids of my own. I moved up to Queensland with my family and then started back at teaching. I actually learned Japanese in the late 1980s never thinking I would go back into the classroom, but that’s when Education Queensland employed me.

HAS MUCH HAS CHANGED DURING YOUR TIME AS A TEACHER?
The students don’t change. The kids are still the same now as they were in the 1980s and 95 per cent of them are excellent. What has changed is the use of technology and teachers’ accountability.

HAVE YOU TAUGHT TWO GENERATIONS OF THE SAME FAMILY?
Yes I have. A young girl last year reminded me that I had taught her mum. I’ve also taught whole families of kids. We have some very large families around this area. It’s quite interesting working with large groups of siblings and seeing all their different personalities.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A TEACHER?
I’m one of those strange people who really enjoy working with teenagers – they’re just so interesting. That moment of cognition when a student finally gets it, is so rewarding. In my Year 12 English class I have a boy who is right at the top of the year level and he wrote me an email to say thank you because when he came into my class he was only a C student and now he’s head of the pack. It’s the feedback from the kids and the interesting way they respond and behave that I enjoy most.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE ABOUT BEING A TEACHER?
Balancing the responsibilities when you play multiple roles within a school. We play multiple roles and have to provide care and support for all of the kids that we are teaching. I find focusing on curriculum and curriculum planning is a good break between everything else. Also, mental health is one of the biggest challenges we have with young people. There are so many more support services available now, which really helps us to help the kids who need it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW TEACHERS?
They need to find a good mentor and someone who they can bounce questions and queries off, or just have a coffee chat and debrief with. Also, don’t take anything that happens in the classroom personally.

About The Author

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