About Me: Highlights over 36 years
Having taught for over 36 years I have been blessed with some amazing opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children and families. I have taught for the NSW department of Education, Sydney Anglican Schools and the Sydney Catholic Education office, as well as tutored and consulted under my own business name, Learning Support Down Under since 2009.
There have been many memorable times and highlights in my career.
One of the first truly brave times in my early career was Team Teaching a class of 63 students in 1988 before it became popular. With a colleague, we decided that teaching together would enable us to maximise support staff and enhance outcomes for the many students we had from non- English speaking backgrounds and those with learning difficulties. It was a remarkable year with up to five support staff available to us.
In 2010 Learning Support Down Under was born and has taken on many forms over the next ten years.
From 2003 to 2012 I was privileged with working at a Sydney catholic school which was newly established in south west Sydney. As head teacher learning support I was entrusted with developing Literacy and Numeracy scope and sequences and programs to support differentiated learning for children with differing learning needs. With an amazing team and classroom teachers willing to learn and try new strategies it was a wonderful ten years filled with tremendous growth and learning for all, including me.
At the end of 2009, I was approached by a Malaysian SEO to travel to Kuala Lumpar to consult for a Disabled Children’s Home and Orphanage. Over the next couple of years I was to travel there with a good friend, my Teacher’s Aide from school, three times developing learning programs and training staff. I also had the opportunity to hold full day workshops and lectures for parents of children with learning difficulties who attended local schools. These included Early Literacy and Numeracy, play based learning, fine and gross motor development workshops, lectures around learning difficulties and strategies for learning. This was another amazing opportunity to open my mind to other education systems and challenge my ‘outside the box’ thinking skills to develop new programs and methods.
In 2012, I was invited by a friend who was a psychologist involved with the Ronald McDonald House Learning Program to apply to tutor for their program. This program provided tuition for children with serious illnesses or injuries to catch up on their missed schooling following treatment and recovery. Another wonderful opportunity for me to be involved with children and their families.
In 2014, my teaching career changed dramatically and took another astounding turn....
Read on in Part Two of this blog to hear more.