EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
“Teaching is everything. The mark of a great nation is a nation that has great education, so our job is immense, and we need teachers to really be choosing it and owning it, and knowing the difference that they make for our students and children.” - Sharyn Angel
One of the nation’s most highly awarded school leaders, who has spent her career breaking down barriers for low socio-economic students, says it’s important for teachers to be proud of their profession, of being experts in their field, and of helping Australia to be greater.
Springfield Central State High School (SCSHS) Deputy Principal Sharyn Angel, who was named one of the world’s top 100 teachers for the 2017 Global Teacher (Million Dollar) Prize, is a finalist in this year’s Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) TEACHX Awards.
Ms Angel, who was sought out by the Federal Government recently to provide her advice on quality teaching, said she had a defining moment in her early career when one of her students was murdered.
“It was devastating, absolutely devastating,” Ms Angel said.
The Physical Education and Biology teacher found herself transferring out of the Logan area as a result, but came back, this time to Shailer Park State High School, where she helped implement explicit instruction and raise aspirations among students and the community.
“It was transforming - we were outperforming some of the private schools in the area. That is when we were recognised with the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award,” Ms Angel said.
With $30,000 of the $45,000 award designated to be spent on a strategic project, Ms Angel chose to take members of her community overseas to experience the Harlem Children Zone Cradle to College pipeline in New York, which worked on breaking the cycle of poverty.
Ms Angel’s inspirational impact on the schools she has helped lead is one of the reasons she is a finalist for the Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.
At SCSHS she has overseen an initiative in which every teacher and school leader has undertaken a strength assessment.
“Quality teaching is what can change students’ lives,” Ms Angel said.
“The job is so enormous; the job has always been enormous, and it’s never been more enormous in these COVID times. That’s why it is so important to me to ensure that teachers feel competent, and we give opportunities for teachers to feel confident and to be able to talk a language where they know that they are experts, and that they can confidently share their expertise.”
Her leadership has led to SCSHS being chosen as one of five Australian schools to present to a World Education Week forum this week.
Winners of the TEACHX Awards will be announced on October 28, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day celebrations in Queensland. Finalists win $500, and winners $5000, for professional development.