The Family School Partnerships Manifesto
Based on some Twitter conversations I’ve had recently, I thought it would be interesting to gather some interviews on this here blog with people who have made their careers in the education sector. So first up, we have Michele Sampson of Michele’s Community Classroom Blog. Michele is a Family School Partnership Convenor for Catholic Education in Melbourne, Victoria.
Take it away Michele!
Tell me a little bit about you – how long have you been teaching for, and in what content area?
I was a Primary school teacher in the Western Australian Ed Dept for more than 25 years. Over that time I taught in every year level but was most interested in Early Years education especially Pre-primary to Year 1.
What made you decide to be a teacher? Are you still teaching or have you moved on?
I always had an idea of myself as a teacher. I thought it was my service to the world. However, once I made the decision to move sideways and work in professional development for teachers instead of in the classroom, I realised that I no longer had the stamina or drive to be at the coal face and working directly with children and their families.
Can you please tell me what your pre service teacher experience was like?
I did 3 years at Mt Lawley College of Education (as it was called then) in a full time course to get my Diploma of Education. It was a great course with many amazing lecturers who were very passionate about what they taught and inspired me to be the best I could be. We did a number of pracs each year culminating in a long term prac which was one whole term in a school but broken into two different classroom experiences.
What did you like about teaching?
I loved the kids. I loved their spontaneity and enthusiasm. I loved being able to be creative and guide children through learning experiences that made them wonder and explore the world
Did you have an experience as a teacher that you would describe as a great achievement?
Every single child I taught who connected with a spark that I helped ignite I would consider as a great achievement.
What did you find was the greatest challenge of teaching?
The administrivia. Every couple of years there would be a new framework or a new way of collecting data and you sometimes had to jump through hoops for no real reason.
If you could give PSTs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Connect with the families of the students you teach. Reach out to them and get to know them as humans not just as the parents. Be curious about their story and share yours.
When you hear the phrase ‘creative teacher’ what do you think of?
Teachers going beyond the mediocre and crafting experiences for children and their families that use the richness of the children’s context with their enthusiasm and sense of wonder of the world so they can find meaning and love of learning.
Do you have a blog or a website that we can visit?
Thanks so much for your time, Michele. If anyone would like to read further into the Family School Partnerships in Victoria, skedaddle over to them via the link!