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SA Excellence in Public Education Awards

Teaching from an early age

4 Oct 2016

As soon as Sara Scott started school she knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she was so determined to achieve her ambition that she took on her first student at five year’s old.

It appears young Sara was quite good at it, too. Thanks to a game of ‘Schools’ at home, her younger sister, Nicola, could read, do simple maths and write basic words before she started school.

SA Public Excellence Award Finalist - Sara“I was so in awe of my first teacher, Mrs Collins, and I just wanted to replicate what I had learnt in class every day,” Sara says.

“From an early age I planned everything around becoming a teacher, I always knew that’s what I would do and never once wavered from that career choice.”

More than 40 years later, she remains as committed to primary education as ever - believing emphatically that primary school educators are some of the most important people on earth.

Today, she teaches at Stradbroke, an R-7 International Baccalaureate primary school in Rostrevor. The students are a culturally, linguistically and socially diverse group that includes students who have only been in Australia for a short time and students who speak English as a second language.

“The teaching profession continues to excite me because education excites me,” Sara says.  “It’s never static and there is always more to learn – and inspirational educators to learn from.

“Students are diverse and their learning styles and willingness to absorb concepts and ideas amazes and motivates me.

“I love learning, my mind is rarely inactive and I want to share my love of learning with my students, their families and my colleagues. This is a driving force for me and as long as this continues I’ll remain in the profession.”

The joy that teaching brings to Sara’s life is unmistakeable, but she recognises the opportunity to grow the profession’s reputation and efficacy.

“The challenges of a full and complex curriculum and making it accessible and engaging to all students in your care is challenging. I would also say, however, that challenging does not mean impossible and I always enjoy a challenge!”

While Sara is utterly absorbed in the here and now, she also has an eye on the future, and is keen to develop the skills and gain the experience required to help lead a primary school to create opportunities for teachers and students.

“Awards like the SA Excellence in Teaching Award are incredibly important for the morale and wellbeing of educators, and it helps to promote the profession in a positive way,” Sara says.

“I’m so grateful to have been nominated by a parent of a student in my class, but I’m surrounded every day by excellent educators who strive to provide outstanding learning experiences for the students in their care, and I’m no different to them.

“I’ve been given so much support from others throughout my teaching career that has helped me to become the educator I am today. This nomination is for all of them, too – it’s a ‘hey guys, look what we managed to do together’.