What motivated you to move to Tanzania to become a teacher mentor at St Jude’s?
Gemma! I saw Gemma speak in 2005 in Armidale and her passion, drive and vision for this project inspired me. I wanted to be a part of helping her achieve her goals, so when the opportunity arose in 2011, the time was right for me and I jumped at the chance.
Tell us a bit about your previous teaching experience.
I have worked in early childhood education for 28 years.The range of experience within this education area has been vast; from working directly with children, to educating teachers at TAFE & university for early childhood teaching degrees; from owning and managing early childhood services to consulting and training for state and commonwealth funded associations to implement new government initiatives in the Early childhood field.
How long have you been volunteering at St Jude’s?
I have been at St Jude’s since September 2011. I feel it is extremely important to be able to develop relationships and understandings over time and to offer consistent and ongoing support to school staff as they strive to develop their skills.
What is the best thing about your role?
The best thing is the joy I feel when witnessing teachers and staff grow and develop their skills and understanding and I see them working hard towards improving the education of the children at this school. This has a domino affect first on the children, then their families, then the community!
What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming at St Jude’s teacher mentor?
Do it!! But remember effective change takes 20 years, the school is only in its 11th year. Be happy to play a small part (in the time you are here) in a long term vision for fighting poverty through education!