Be­gin­ner’s pluck: Teacher hum­bled by nom­i­na­tion

Eastern Reporter - - News - Kristie Lim

JOHN For­rest Sec­ondary Col­lege sci­ence teacher Rob Wood­ward says he is still “learn­ing the ropes” de­spite be­ing named a fi­nal­ist in this year’s WA Ed­u­ca­tion Awards.

The 51-year-old Bal­catta res­i­dent has been teach­ing for about only two-and-ahalf years af­ter spend­ing three decades as a re­searcher in physics and chem­istry at UWA and Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

Dr Wood­ward said he felt hon­oured yet a lit­tle em­bar­rassed to be a fi­nal­ist in the WA Be­gin­ning Teacher of the Year cat­e­gory.

“I was pleas­antly sur­prised and happy to be nom­i­nated by the school and when I first was told I was a fi­nal­ist didn’t think much of it,” he said.

“But to be one of four across the state, when I know there are so many good teach­ers out there, is an hon­our.

“If I was to win the award I think it would be a great recog­ni­tion of the school.

“In ad­di­tion to this I feel like it would be a recog­ni­tion of the enor­mous sup­port of my fam­ily as I tran­si­tioned to a new ca­reer.”

Dr Wood­ward moved into sec­ondary teach­ing based on his ex­pe­ri­ence at uni­ver­sity and his en­joy­ment gained from help­ing oth­ers learn.

He was of­fered a job at the Mor­ley school af­ter com­plet­ing a practicum place­ment in term one in 2016.

“Ev­ery so of­ten there are those mo­ments when the stu­dents re­alise that they do know the an­swer, that they can solve prob­lems that they pre­vi­ously thought were im­pos­si­ble, or fi­nally get the con­cept that you have been try­ing to teach,” he said.

“To help a stu­dent get to that point in their learn­ing where it does make sense is just a won­der­ful feel­ing.”

He aimed to con­tinue mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in stu­dents’ lives.

“I have lots I want to do as a teacher; the award for which I have been nom­i­nated is the ‘be­gin­ning teacher’ and in many re­spects I feel that is what I am,” he said.

“I also want to work with my school and col­leagues to im­prove what we do and how we do it so that we can make that dif­fer­ence more of­ten and help our stu­dents achieve the very best they can.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d485806

John For­rest Sec­ondary Col­lege teacher Rob Wood­ward has been nom­i­nated for the Be­gin­ning Teacher of the Year award.

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