EXCELLENCE IN BEGINNING TO TEACH
A former real estate agent turned teacher who is providing exciting career opportunities and industry connections for her students is a finalist for a state teaching award.
Springfield Central State High School (SCSHS) Business teacher Rebecca Thoms is using her 13 years of experience in real estate, and her connections in the Greater Springfield area, to inspire students to pursue business and aviation careers.
Mrs Thoms is working with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce to develop a special Junior Chamber for students and has introduced a program connecting pupils with the aviation industry.
Those are just some of the reasons she a finalist for this year’s Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.
Mrs Thoms has been praised for her collaborative role in pitching a program to Aviation Australia, which connects students to the industry, through the Aerospace Gateway to Industry School Program (AGISP).
The AGISP will give students the opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge, and attributes they need to achieve a career in aviation and beyond. This partnership will also provide SCSHS students with real-world opportunities and community connections.
Mrs Thoms guidance and emphasis on individual intervention has led to 100 per cent of her Business students achieving an A-C result.
“Every student learns differently, and requires different support to succeed, this is why I became a teacher,” Mrs Thoms said.
She provides immense support for the well-being of senior students through her roles as Senior Academic Mentor and the Year 11 Coordinator. These roles allow Mrs Thoms to support the Go for Gold program, in which Years 10 to 12 students are mentored by former high-performing SCSHS graduates.
As an academic mentor, she has weekly one-on-one chats with students in which she provides resources to help them prioritise and improve their time management skills. Each student is supported according to their individual needs.
“Working with students one-on-one is a great opportunity to provide a safe and supportive environment, where students feel confident to ask questions and work at their own pace,” she said.
As the Year 11 Coordinator she regularly attends Student Representative Council meetings with students to implement activities, and works with the Senior Phase of Learning to co-ordinate ‘Highway to Success’. This program is run over a full school day, and provides the Year 11 and 12 students with the opportunity to work with Academic Coaches and reflect on their studies to date.
“This program also offers industry connections for the students through a range of guest speakers and community activities,” Mrs Thoms said.
She has been working hard to implement new Junior subjects across the Business and Digital Technology curriculums, and collaborated with colleagues to increase Vocational Education and Training offerings in the area.
She said she hoped to inspire her students and support them to uncover their true potential and capabilities.
TEACHX Awards winners will be announced on 28 October, the eve of World Teachers’ Day Celebrations in Australia. Finalists receive $500 and winners $5000 for professional development.