This week’s feature the teacher is from Lutheran Primary school, kindergarten teacher Lauren Forsyth.
Name: Lauren Forsyth.
School: Lutheran Primary School.
1. Why did you become a teacher?
When I finished school I was one of those people who wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I’ve always had a real love of learning and always had a really positive experience in my own education.
I wanted to do a job that was dynamic and forever changing, so that’s why I went into teaching.
2. What’s the best or worst excuse a student has given for not doing there homework?
I always love the ‘mum or dad forgot to pack my homework’, but generally I’m really lucky, I have children who are really studious and interested in doing their home learning and love reading at home, so it’s not very often I hear excuses.
3. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in the classroom?
This happened only last year on a winter’s day and I decided that I would come to school and wear my uggies and bring my school shoes to put on later on, but alas the bell went and I couldn’t find my shoes.
So I spent my day in my uggies; my feet were really warm, but it was a little embarrassing.
4. What do you love most about your job?
I really love learning with the students each day and I’m really passionate about what I do.
I just love working with the students, particularly the younger students, they have a real love of learning as well and it’s fantastic to see their progress over the year and all their effort they put in, they do such an amazing job.
5. What has been the biggest change you’ve witnessed during your teaching career?
I’ve been teaching for a while now and certainly the biggest change that I’ve seen has been that schooling is but to teach kids the skills in the content that they’re going to need for a job in the 21st century.
We’ve moved right away from chalk and talk, our learning environments are really different, we still have traditional tables but also lots of different agile spaces for them to learn in.
They can choose where they best work and so forth and collaborative teaching which is really different to what I first experienced when I was just out from university.
We’re now teaching for jobs and not just for the curriculum.
6. What’s the funniest question a student has ever asked you?
We have a lot of spaces in the classrooms, we have a little classroom library with a few cushions and some of the students ask if I live here and I have to sometimes explain that I have a home and family.
And alas, I sometimes see them outside of school and they get a bit of a shock that I don’t stay at the school.
7. Who’s harder to keep in line, parents or children?
This is always hard question but my motto is ‘relationships, relationships’, so having a really good relationship with the parents as well as the students.
If you have that relationship, you have good communication, you don’t tend to have too many issues. If you need to have that conversation, it becomes much easier.
8. What’s your secret to controlling an unruly class?
At the start of the school year, it’s all about developing shared expectations and really understand what they expect of me and what I’ll expect of them.
Again, I spent a lot of time developing good firm relationships with the students, I find that I don’t have too many issues.
9. What’s the one subject you would never want to teach? 0
Those that know me well, particularly at school, that I will put my hand up to try everything.
But, I probably wouldn’t put my hand up for woodwork, as I’m not a handy person!
10. How has technology transformed the role of a teacher?
It’s transformed our role powerfully, again it’s another tool but it’s a very powerful tool.
With all tools in teaching, you always have to consider what’s the best tools to use in a situation.
It’s certainly opened the four walls of our classroom to access information, to be able to communicate with people around the world.
The children that we’re working with now are already so used to using technology, even before they come to school.
So it’s something we use to engage the children in their learning and connecting with information and companies around the world, that would have been really difficult 10 years ago.
When students come up with those doozy questions you’re not too sure about, it can be a great tool to access information.
Again we’re working on giving these children the skills that they will need once they go out into the workforce, they will need those skills when using technology and so forth, so if they’re really used to using it at school and then hopefully once they hit the workforce they’ll be really confident in using it.