Craig is a year 5 teacher from Queensland in Australia, who is entering his 16th year of teaching this year. With a wealth of knowledge, his advice is simple and pointed, focused on remembering that teaching is first and foremost about the students.
Why did you become a teacher?
Simple – I was inspired by those who taught me.
What has kept you in the profession?
The kids keep me in the profession. Those light bulb moments. For some kids being the best 6 hours of their day.
When I feel as though I am not having as much fun with the kids and I stop laughing with them I need to find something else to do.
What is the best lesson you’ve ever taught? What made it so?
Geez that is a big question. Kids all like Technology (planning, designing, building, evaluating, testing and reflecting). I generally have a large amount of success with those type of activities as kids get creative and use concrete materials to create a ‘product’ before testing it.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
I find a majority of parents can be quite challenging. Also the demands placed in and around NAPLAN data. We don’t have enough chance for students to express their creativity.
What do you love the most about teaching?
The kids – seeing them achieve. Some might only get a D+/C- but for them that is their best effort and I need to make them feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof when receiving such a mark.
Is there something you would like to try out with your classes?
I would love to do live video crosses with classes from around Australia, sharing knowledge and letting kids teach kids.
What advice do you have for beginning (or experienced) teachers?
Be prepared to simply have a go and understand that we all make mistakes – learn from them and move forward. We are all in the same boat. Move with the times and enjoy the ride – who knows what we can learn – even from each other.