It’s World Teachers’ Day in Australia. The 2020 school year has been like no other, with school communities quickly adapting to ever-changing circumstances. We asked a few rural teachers what they learned from this landmark year, and what being a rural educator means now.
Jaimee Beasy | Swan Hill Primary School
Jaimee, how long have you been working in education?
It’s hard to believe but this is my eleventh year as a teacher at Swan Hill Primary; my whole career has been at this school. It’s a wonderful environment to work in, with wonderful students, colleagues, and families.
What are you teaching this year?
I’m currently a Grade 2 classroom teacher. Over the course, I’ve taught Grade 2 for four years, then Grade 5 for one, Grade 3 for four years, and then back to Grade Two.
What do you love most about being a teacher? What drags you out of bed each morning?
I absolutely love seeing growth in my students, seeing their smiling faces, and building relationships in and outside of school. The curriculum is ever-changing, so I am continually learning new things to benefit my students. Being a teacher is a very tough and yet rewarding job; I wouldn’t change it for the world.
As a teacher, what will you take from 2020?
2020 has been a real eye-opener for everyone. It has shown the amazing abilities of technology, how well school communities can come together and the real value of education, perhaps more than ever. I think it has highlighted the role of a classroom teacher for parents, and they now have a far greater understanding and appreciation of what we do. I have had many parents telling me, ‘I don’t know how you do it, I could never be a teacher’.
What was it like getting back into the classroom this term?
Getting back into the classroom was filled with such excitement. It has been so positive, like starting the year all over again. Being able to put technology aside and having those relationships again has been my favourite part, as well as seeing everyone’s smiling faces bursting through the door each morning. This year has definitely been one of growth, and I think that comes down to our school’s wonderful leadership team and, equally, the support we have from our parents. This year has shown anything can happen if you set your mind to it.