Feature the Teacher is all about recognising the amazing efforts Wagga teachers are contributing everyday to the growth and development of students.
This week’s chosen teacher is Peter Clark from Willans School, who was nominated by a parent.
Name: Peter Clark.
Where: Willans Hill School.
Classes: class 7.
1. Why did you become a special education teacher?
I was a teacher in the private schools sector and when my family moved to Wagga, I was looking for a new challenge.
I found Willans Hill and I started doing casual work here and I loved it and the kids here are amazing.
2. What do you love most about your job?
I love when I get a chance to celebrate and recognise students and their achievements at assemblies, presentation nights and things like that.
3. How long have you been teaching and at Willans Hill?
I’ve been a teacher for 13 years and at Willans Hill for eight years, I started here in 2011.
4. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in the classroom?
It hasn’t happened yet. In the afternoons when everyone is gone, I put on my heavy metal music and I bust a move in the classroom, while I’m tidying up.
I think it would be embarrassing if I was caught while busting my dad moves!
5. What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed during your career?
I think the biggest change is the wider community’s perception of students with a disability.
I believe students are being seen as learners, that they can learn, and actively contribute and succeed.
6. What’s the one subject you would never want to teach?
I think I would freak out if I had to teach a foreign language, like Russian or something.
7. How has technology transformed the role of a teacher?
With technology we can engage students in ways that we couldn’t before in the learning.
In our settings, we use technology for our communications with different devices and apps so that students can contribute their ideas.
We also use technology as a positive motivator to get students to engage with learning and encourage future learning.
8. What’s your secret to controlling an unruly class?
I think you have to have a lot of strategies in your tool box and you need to know the students and adapt the techniques that you’re using to suit the individuals.
9. What does any given school day look like for you and your students?
The most important thing is that we set up and follow a schedule and we stick to that.
Lessons might follow a familiar routine with opportunities for students to practice and build on prior knowledge.
Lots of hands-on activities, built in with sensory experiences, lots of choice-making opportunities and lots of laughs and fun with each other is really important.