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.
Stacey Pearse | St Mary’s Primary School, Swan Hill
Stace, when did you begin your teaching career?
I graduated from La Trobe University in Bendigo in 2017 and have been teaching ever since. I teach Foundation at St Mary’s Primary in Swan Hill.
What do you enjoy most about being a teacher?
I love being a teacher because I get to spend my days listening to the creative, inquisitive, funny and beautiful minds of our youngest students. I am proud to be their teacher, and I am proud to play such a key role in their early development. Usually, during Term Three, we see a huge growth in our preppies; it’s like all the information and education we’ve given them finally ‘clicks’, and they suddenly have a level of self-belief that they never had before — that’s what I love about my job.
As a teacher, what will you take from 2020?
If I am to draw positives from negatives, I’d say 2020 has been an incredible year of growth and learning for educators — learning to adapt more quickly and learning to be more flexible in our approaches. I’d also say many parents have had invaluable insight into the dedication of our staff at St Mary’s, and we have gratefully received their feedback about how much they value us. As for the children, I think we are all aware of the impact this pandemic has had on their education and we’ve also realised the true significance of a child’s social wellbeing in a school environment.
What has been the best part of getting back into the classroom this term?
I’ve just loved being around the kids again; listening to their brilliant minds, their millions of questions, and their daily dilemmas. But, most of all, I’ve loved seeing them together again, playing, laughing and just being kids — that has absolutely been the cream on the cake.