At Sheldon College, Health and Physical Education (HPE) teacher Mathew Barling nurtures the whole child and fully embraces the College’s philosophy of ‘Love, Laughter and Learning’. “Mathew is a keen advocate of student voice and is regularly asking students what they need from him, so that they can be the best version of themselves,” Director of Academics – Secondary Jarrod Pleass says. “Mathew has been able develop meaningful relationships with all of his students which has allowed him to learn how they learn. He is so intuitive in this respect that he is able to adjust his teaching methods, language, and style to any situation.”
Students observe a passion for learning which he instils in them. His goal for his students to reach a point where they no longer need his guidance for their learning. To achieve this, he adopts a student-centred approach where his students are required to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses before setting up their own improvement pathway. Mathew has strong professional knowledge and a good grasp of curriculum. He is able to identify through his own self-reflection, areas to work on to ensure he continues to develop professionally. He has sought out being part of the conversation within the school regarding assessment, Information Communications Technology (ICT) implementation and curriculum development. Mathew became an accredited Microsoft Innovative Education and Apple Teacher in his first year of teaching enabling him to deliver learning experiences on a range of digital platforms. He has committed to a large range of activities in particular the Touch Football and Volleyball programs of the college. As a pre-service teacher he completed an action-research project informing how integrated learning experiences benefit students in Health and Physical Education. He then presented his findings at the Brisbane Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Conference in 2016. “Mathew is a selfless and humble educator who will achieve outstanding outcomes in this profession.” Congratulations Mathew on your nomination.