Teachers who support students to create a positive future through education were celebrated on World Teachers’ Day Queensland on October 27.
For Tamara Warner, her ambition to become a teacher began in the early years of her own school journey.
“I had an amazing teacher in Year 1 that ran a very inclusive class. She nurtured my love of reading and helped me overcome other hurdles,” said Tamara, a teacher at Carinity Education Rockhampton’s junior campus at Mt Chalmers.
“I decided then, that when I grew up, I wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives, the same way she had made a difference in mine.”
Experiencing the “touching moments” teaching Year 7 and 8 students is what Tamara finds most rewarding.
“Those light bulb moments in young people – that start with us generally not believing in themselves or in the system – when they smile and tell you that they now can do it,” Tamara said.
“By rebuilding their belief in themselves, students are able to build resilience and build lifelong skills.”
Shannon Swadling has worked in education her entire career, in roles at schools as far away as the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.
She is now Deputy Principal at Carinity Education Gladstone, which helps young people who have faced barriers to learning or have not found success in traditional schools achieve positive educational outcomes.
“The care that we are able provide through our model of service and the flexibility to take a holistic approach to education means that as an educator I can make a real difference in the lives of our young people,” Shannon said.
“I look forward to coming to work and seeing the young people each and every day and they are my favourite part of working here.”
Dan Shaw, who has been teaching at Carinity Education Rockhampton for three years, enjoys “seeing the growth and development of students”.
“When you have a student who you’ve been working alongside for months finally have some form of breakthrough, it’s hands down the most rewarding part of the job,” he said.
Nichola Smith has taught at Carinity Education Glendyne in Hervey Bay for eight years and finds it “challenging, entertaining and rewarding”.
“Glendyne offers me the opportunity to work with students who have complex learning and social support needs,” she said.
“As an educator, I thrive on developing each student’s strengths, interests, skills, abilities and knowledge to inspire and support their learning experience.
“Seeing students grow holistically over the years they are at Glendyne is so rewarding. It is a privilege to be able to make a difference in someone’s world.”
Carinity Interim CEO, David Angell, thanked the teachers, youth workers and support staff working across six Carinity Education school campuses around Queensland.
“Our staff support the academic, social, physical, spiritual and mental development of vulnerable young people who attend our schools – and walk with them through the highs and lows of their schooling experience,” he said.
“It is inspirational watching our education teams continue to deliver lifechanging experiences for our students – to ensure these young people receive a vital education.”
Shannon Swadling, second from right, with Carinity Education Gladstone students and teachers.