Kylie is a primary school teacher who started out in 2014. Coming from a theatre background, she made the jump over to teaching and hasn’t looked back!
Why did you become a teacher?
I already had an arts degree in Theatre and communications. My 20s were all about me and trying to break into the acting world. After 11 years of being in an abusive relationship I left and met an amazing man who encouraged me to use my degree for something else like teaching.
I was originally going to teach drama but remembering what I was like in high school I decided to go for a primary teaching degree instead. The first time I stepped into a classroom I knew that this was my calling and all the theatre and acting lessons put me in good stead to think on my feet. Also I had just become a mother and my focus turned from being all about me to my child and their future.
What has kept you in the profession?
The joy I get from teaching kids when those light bulbs go off is of course awesome, but the little things like laughing with students or helping them through difficult moments give me the most joy. I am blessed I have found a school that has amazing support from my leaders and other teaching staff.
What is the best lesson you’ve ever taught? What made it so?
I think when I was teaching about federation to year 6. I had an Aboriginal girl ask about why Aboriginal people weren’t allowed to vote at the time, then other students started asking questions. I ditched my original lesson, sat on the floor in a circle and we all discussed our questions and concerns. The next week we did the same but this time I invited our Indigenous education officer to talk with my class. It was the most engaged I’d ever seen them.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to face is managing my time and the guilt I feel as a mother that I neglect the time I spend with my own children over the time I spend with other peoples children. Oh and data!
What do you love the most about teaching?
I love having fun, making my students laugh and feeling like they belong somewhere.
Is there something you would like to try out with your classes?
I would like to try flexible seating but I’m terrified of the mayhem!
What advice do you have for beginning (or experienced) teachers?
Be patient with yourself. Listen to other more experienced teachers, ask questions no matter how stupid you think they might be, don’t be afraid to ask for help, make time for yourself.