A passion for learning and personal growth
2 Sep 2016
Andrea Lindner only ever wanted to be a teacher, and despite having experience as a deputy principal, coordinator and school counsellor, she remains utterly content to focus her energy on being in the classroom.
Having taught for 28 years, Andrea has worked with students from a range of backgrounds and with various learning needs, all of which have encouraged an enthusiasm for ongoing professional development rivalled only by her love of teaching.
“In recent years, I’ve sought new information and research around learner wellbeing and ways to engage students who have found it difficult to be successful in the classroom and social settings,” she says.
“As a result, we’ve seen improvements in class culture.”
If successful in the SA Primary Teaching category of the SA Excellence in Public Education Awards, Andrea would like to attend next year’s Positive Schools Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference with three colleagues to learn from leaders in the field – knowledge she would share with school colleagues, all of whom have undertaken SMART training (Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma) and studied Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindset.
“I’ve been strongly influenced by resiliency factors and Dweck’s research, which underpin students’ experience of success,” Andrea says.
Andrea’s priority is to develop and nurture positive relationships with her students by observing them, identifying triggers and predicting how they might respond in situations. She can then work with them to support and manage learning and behaviour.
“I have high expectations for myself and my students – it’s wonderful to see them rise to the challenges and achieve their goals,” she says.
Andrea doesn’t know who nominated her for the Award and wonders if there was something specific that she did to be noticed.
“If so, I wish I knew what made a difference for them,” she says. “It was a great feeling to know that someone appreciates my efforts and took the time to nominate me.
“I started getting congratulatory messages from others before my official email arrived so initially I was surprised – everyone has been so supportive.
“At Renmark Primary School we have many dedicated, supportive, hard-working staff that always strive to provide the best opportunities for students, so I don’t think I’m any different or any better than them – many of whom have also been nominated in the past.
“Just being nominated has made me feel confident that someone recognised my teaching skills – it has made me think that I must be ‘doing things right’. It’s been encouraging.”