Nerd who be­came a teacher


Kalamunda Reporter - - News - Sarah Brookes

WHEN Wattle Grove Pri­mary School teacher Carl San­der­son was a lit­tle tacker sit­ting be­hind the desk in the class­room he was the self-pro­claimed “nerdy kid”.

Now the Sawyers Val­ley res­i­dent’s ef­forts in front of the class teach­ing gifted and tal­ented stu­dents have earned him a spot as a fi­nal­ist in the WA Pre­mier’s Pri­mary Teacher of the Year Awards.

“Gifted stu­dents don’t mind school work be­ing hard, but they are ter­ri­fied of be­ing bored,” he said.

“In a nor­mal class these stu­dents are very ca­pa­ble and are of­ten left to their own de­vices as teach­ers are busy try­ing to cater for stu­dents with a big range of abil­i­ties. Be­cause teach­ers are spend­ing most of their time with stu­dents who are strug­gling or are mid­dle of the road it is dif­fi­cult to give gifted stu­dents their full at­ten­tion.”

Mr San­der­son said the school’s push to de­velop a Multi-Aged Aca­demic Class had paid off for gifted stu­dents.

“I teach a class of 30 years 4, 5 and 6 stu­dents who were iden­ti­fied as high achiev­ers,” he said.

“We make sure they don’t feel like braini­acs or nerds and we have a lot of fun.

“They are learn­ing amaz­ing things in maths, sci­ence and English and we have a fo­cus on push­ing them to be crit­i­cal thinkers and solve com­plex prob­lems.”

Mr San­der­son said learn­ing should be a joy for all stu­dents. “I was al­ways a bit of a nerdy kid and I think we all re­mem­ber teach­ers who were won­der­ful and those who were aw­ful,” he said.

“School can be a bor­ing, soul de­stroy­ing prison or we can make it some­where where stu­dents can’t wait to get there and learn.

“I like to help kids de­velop that pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion and there are lots of other un­be­liev­ably great teach­ers out there, es­pe­cially in the pub­lic sec­tor.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said the ed­u­ca­tion awards were a fan­tas­tic way for the com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate top pub­lic ed­u­ca­tors and the dif­fer­ence they make to the lives of stu­dents ev­ery day.

“By con­tin­u­ally pro­vid­ing a high­qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, they are em­pow­er­ing young peo­ple to be­come con­fi­dent, re­silient and well-rounded in­di­vid­u­als who have the op­por­tu­nity to achieve suc­cess in their adult lives.” she said.

Win­ners of the WA Ed­u­ca­tion Awards 2017 will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 24.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt­mu­ni­ d473602

Teacher Carl San­der­son reck­ons learn­ing should be a joy for all stu­dents.

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