Feature the Teacher is all about recognising the amazing efforts Wagga teachers are contributing everyday to the growth and development of students.
School: Holy Trinity Primary School
Class: grade 6
1. Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference to students.
I wanted to be their happy place and be their rainbow in their cloud, when they’re having a bad day they know that they can come to me and we can always see the bright side of things, putting that into perspective to help their learning so that they can achieve their goals.
3. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in the classroom?
It was only a few weeks ago, we were in the middle of a lesson and all of a sudden I said, ‘oh gosh right, time for prayer’ and then we did that and they went out to recess and they got out the door and said it’s only 10am Mrs Willis, it’s not recess yet.
4. What do you love most about your job?
I love that I get to help students see and know their strengths and see and watch them grow. There’s no better job than seeing a student at a particular level and then six months later, see them shining and happy with what they’ve achieved.
5. What’s the funniest question a student has asked you?
This is a really hard one, I guess I wouldn’t think any question was funny. I guess when it’s my birthday and they think I’m 21 and I’m clearly not 21. I don’t know if they see me as immature or I look young. So it’s nice that they don’t think I’m well over my 40’s.
6. Definitely the evolution of technology and how quickly it has changed, even just in five years time.
Obviously the traditional classroom settings when I first started teaching, desks in row teacher at the front, doing all the explicit teaching and not a lot of the engagement. Now with contemporary classrooms and relaxed, flexible learning areas obviously the current pedagogy is different and I think it meets the needs of each individual student, than traditional teaching did.
7. How has it technology transformed the role of the teacher?
I look back now, I don’t think I’d be able to survive without internet and technology. It’s brought the wqorld to our students when they couldn’t, not capable or unable to go out and experience things.
Through Google Earth, live podcasts and YouTube, they’re able to see real things that are happening around the world and make connections to that new learning.
It’s a very powerful tool, but only a tool. We still need to teach them the skills.
8. Who’s harder to keep in line, parents or students?
I would say neither, because I believe that relationships are very important. So I think we’re in partnership and we need to work together with them. So I wouldn’t say either.
9. What’s your secret to controlling an unruly class?
Again, relationships. We spend a lot of time building positive relationships at the start of the year.
I think that makes a difference with behaviour management within the classroom, because you can have those conversations with them, they trust you, they think they’ve been heard, so I think that’s the best way to deal with it.
10. What’s the one subject you would never want to teach?
Music, not good at music – I’m tone deaf.