Katherine Hanson began working as a teacher at Berrinba East State School two years ago, instantly making a connection to the school community. “She shows up. She always shows up with her best self every day she steps into the school. Keeping the students, parents/carers, colleagues and even the community engaged within the school is nothing short of amazing,” former colleague Bradly Saunders says.
She strives to meet the needs of that community; for example, recently she completed professional development about STEM during the holidays. In the new term, she took this new knowledge and implemented a STEM club. In addition to pursuing professional development, she has also recently completed a Master of Education. The cornerstone of Katherine’s pedagogy is the lasting relationships she builds with her students. Getting to know them personally, she caters her teaching style to their individual academic and social needs. Planning her lessons, she is noted by peers for her time management and creative skills. It results in lessons that engage her students and feature memorable experiences. “The school has seen vast improvement in the students’ academic results and also the amount of behaviour incidents, both minor and major, has decreased significantly. This isn't just something small, it is an obvious credit to Katherine’s teaching and her personalised approach to teaching which makes students feel cared for, valued and supported through their educational journey,” Bradly says. Katherine has also been the sole driver of numerous clubs including the STEM club and debating club, giving up her own time to make these opportunities available to students. She also assisted with the implementation of staff social sports teams to build strong relationships. “The way she engages parents and ensures they are informed with the teaching and their child's academic journey is special and is something I have admired since I had the opportunity to work with her. Katherine's ability to support staff and remind them that they are doing an incredible job is something special. She is someone who I aspire to be. Her passion is something that rubs off like glitter,” Bradly says. Congratulations Katherine on your nomination.