Teacher reflects on 35 years in education

Anne Hamilton emigrated to Australia in 1984 to teach during a shortage of Maths and Science teachers and now looks back on her time in education.

Having taken a chance and moved across the world, it wasn't until Anne arrived in Victoria that she found out that the teaching position she had been placed in was in Charlton, in rural Victoria.

Some three and a half hours from where she thought she would be with family in Melbourne, Anne nevertheless looks back fondly on three years spent at that school and the town she lived.

'It was a bit of a shock to the system at first, but I ended up loving my time there,' reminisced Anne.

'It was a great introduction to the education system and to Australian culture even though no one had told me I'd be living in a farmhouse in the midst of a mouse plague.'

After three years, Anne made the decision to move closer to relatives in Melbourne, taking a position at Hallam High School.

'I started there in 1987 and after 32 years I'm still there.'

'I know it may seem a bit odd to some but I've actually wanted to be a Maths teacher since I was 12.'

'I am still as passionate about the subject now as I was then, and I love those "aha" moments when students "get it!"'

'Maths is not everyone's favourite subject and instilling confidence in students when it comes to Maths and helping them to achieve their goals is something that I aspire to do.'

Now recognised for her years of service to Victoria, Anne reflects on some of the moments that she feels made everything so worthwhile.

'If we're looking for something memorable, I would say that one of the nicest moments occurred about a month ago when I was invited to attend the first ever reunion of students who started at Hallam the same year as I did.'

'I had two Year 7 classes that year, one of which was my home group. I could name almost everyone in both those classes and I have always remembered that year fondly.'

'I even still have a Christmas card that was made by that home group, which I took along to the reunion.'

'Sometimes we see students return to school for a visit in the few years after completing Year 12 but it is rare that we get to meet up with them as grown men and women in their forties.'

'Driving home that night I was so glad that I had gone to the reunion and it reinforced the fact that the decision I made to become a teacher almost fifty years ago, as a 12 year old, was the right one for me.'

Anne is one of 400 educators and public servants who have been recognised for their 35 years of service to Victorian education in ceremonies recently.