Ros­trata PS teacher nom­i­nated for award

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

A DECADE into her teach­ing ca­reer, Court­ney John­ston’s pas­sion for teach­ing still burns as brightly as it did when she started.

Now her pas­sion to help stu­dents has been recog­nised with a WA Ed­u­ca­tion Award nom­i­na­tion in the Premier’s Pri­mary Teacher of the Year cat­e­gory.

The Ros­trata Pri­mary School teacher said she still gets the same joy from seeing her stu­dents suc­ceed as she did when she first started.

“My most favourite times are when you see lit­tle ‘light bulb’ mo­ments hap­pen to an in­di­vid­ual,” she said.

“The hap­pi­ness that stu­dent feels in that mo­ment, with their peers en­cour­ag­ing them, is some­thing you never get sick of seeing.”

Now in her ninth year at the Wil­let­ton school, Ms John­ston said she worked hard to en­sure she had a per­sonal con­nec­tion with each of her stu­dents.

“We spend a good part of six hours a day to­gether, so it’s im­por­tant to de­velop a rap­port with each child to de­velop their self-es­teem and con­fi­dence,” she said.

“As adults, we of­ten don’t re­mem­ber what we ac­tu­ally learnt back in Year 2, but re­mem­ber how our teach­ers made us feel.”

While any teacher can tell you chil­dren can be test­ing, Ms John­ston said she learnt the im­por­tance of flex­i­bil­ity, ac­cep­tance and pa­tience over the years.

“It took a while, but over my years of ex­pe­ri­ence I’ve learnt to pri­ori­tise what is most im­por­tant to my stu­dents,” she said.

“At the end of the day, they are the most im­por­tant fac­tor and why I do what I do each day.”

Ms John­ston, who ad­mit­ted she was “over­whelmed” to hear about the nom­i­na­tion, said her fam­ily back­ground in teach­ing made her want to in­spire oth­ers from an early age.

“With my mum and many fam­ily mem­bers in teach­ing, I of­ten helped dur­ing school hol­i­days to make things for class­rooms, which I loved,” she said.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d485665

Ros­trata Pri­mary School Year 2 teacher Court­ney John­ston with her stu­dents.

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