Every morning, Skye Clarkson greets each of her Year 1 students with a greeting of their choice. It could be a fist pump or a hug. Regardless, it makes their day before her lessons even begin. The Mareeba State School (MSS) early career teacher has already become a coach for other colleagues. She shares tips and strategies with her colleagues and has been praised for her self-reflection, for her ability to provide differentiated learning for each of her students, for the work that she does with her professional coach and for actively seeking out professional development.
MSS Deputy Principal Valerie Dayes says Skye’s diligence and commitment to her students has seen them achieve great results, particularly in reading and mathematics. Skye is known for taking great pride in creating a classroom environment which promotes learning in a fun, relevant and engaging way. There are numerous word walls, including a sight word wall, anchor charts and data displays for individual students. She has a focus on wellbeing, and not just for students. She has hosted many staff wellbeing activities and is a joint coordinator of the MSS social club. “Skye has worked very hard to ensure she has built professional relationships with the entire Mareeba State School community, offering support to others, hosting morning teas for peers and attending school functions,” Valerie says. Skye has been selected from nearly 1000 applicants as the recipient for a $1000 grant provided on behalf of Yates Gardening and Life Education in support of a community vegetable garden she is developing, which involves students, parents and the greater school community. The garden will be used to teach students the skills and knowledge used for growing their own food to improve their health, reduce food waste and live sustainably through growing and sharing fresh food. MSS Principal Amanda Whybird says Skye has done some wonderful work as a beginning teacher. “Skye's passion and enthusiasm for her teaching, as well as her commitment to collaborating with her coach and peers and undertaking other ongoing professional development activities, has seen her professional growth increase exponentially,” Amanda says. “She builds quality relationships with all members of the school community with whom she has contact, and is not only an effective practitioner but also a wonderful ambassador for our profession.” Congratulations Skye on your nomination.