As you know, the work of a teacher is complex on so many levels. At times, you feel more like a counsellor, cleaner, nurse, event coordinator, actor, diplomat and even a law enforcer.
The job is not simple, nor is it merely from 9.00am - 3.30pm when students go home; it can be all-consuming and overwhelming.
Instead of relaxing on the couch after work, my mind will wander to planning how I'm going to introduce a new topic to my class. We work tirelessly at night and on weekends whether it be planning, writing reports or marking assignments. My point here is to not dwell on the drawbacks and challenges of the teaching profession, but to say that in spite of them, I continue to love teaching and the pursuit of learning.
Ask any teacher what the most rewarding part of their job is, and they'll tell you it is making a contribution to a student's life; seeing that 'lightbulb' moment on their face.
Classroom success can take many forms, be it academic achievement or helping students to develop socially. The work we do with children has lasting effects on their lives. I know when I think back to my days at school (which seem like a lifetime ago) I can remember exactly which teachers gave me the skills I draw upon as an adult, and which teachers I want to emulate in my own classroom today.
It is these experiences that have allowed me to recognise, that as demanding as teaching is in today's complex world – it is as equally rewarding, if not more so.
My name is Brendan Thompson and I'm a Leading Teacher at Kilmore Primary School. I came to the Department of Education and Training in July 2017 as part of the Pathways Program to work on a communications project for a term.
As a teacher, I had almost no idea of how the Department worked. What I found in the Communications Division and beyond was a workforce of passionate people focused on helping teachers to do their jobs. Through this project, the Department have created a communication channel for teachers to give you access to clear and useful information: when you want it, when you need it and in a format that works for you.
This first edition of In Our Classrooms offers practical and hands-on, evidence-based resources and guidance that aligns to the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO). Some of you will have heard of it – and some of you may not. But what you need to know is, that FISO can help improve your teaching practice and can give you extra support where you might be challenged. It can even help you do your PDP and make sure you're aligning to your schools' goals for this year. And we all know our principals will love that!
I encourage you to use this channel as an opportunity to help shape the content you want to see. To make this channel as effective as possible, we need your support.
Across Victoria, we know there are amazing things that you are doing every day in your classrooms. Please share these resources with us, talk up your success stories and give us tips, so that we can work together to make your job easier.
This channel is about you, so we need your teacher voice to let us know what works for you.
Brendan Thompson, Leading Teacher
Kilmore Primary School
For more information about FISO, see:
FISO explained: Building practice excellence and
Framework for Improving Student Outcomes