Monday 10th July, 2017
Genevieve Fitzpatrick started teaching at OneSchool Agnew in 2009 and has a career that has spanned 13 years. Before coming to Agnew, Genevieve spent a year teaching in New South Wales, as well as four years in the Northern Territory.
Australia is a big country, and although Genevieve has taught in two states and a territory, one aspect of working at OneSchool has not gone unnoticed.
“The opportunities to collaborate with staff nationally and internationally have been a real highlight for me and are something that sets OneSchool apart from any other school I've worked in, or any school I know of,” she says. “I've been fortunate enough to travel interstate and internationally, which is something I never imagined would happen for me as a teacher.”
But it’s not only the travelling opportunities, it’s the teaching methods that OneSchool employs that excite Genevieve.
“I love that OneSchool embraces modern educational methodologies and technologies in the classroom,” she says. “The SDL approach is something I strongly believe in and I'm fortunate enough to be working in a school that embraces this. I was a little apprehensive about having to teach all my classes by VC, however I've been surprised by how much I've enjoyed it. There are so many new tools available to me to use in my classroom and I've loved experimenting with these. The other big change I've noticed is that I no longer feel isolated in my classroom.”
There has also been an unexpected side effect of teaching using VC – in a good way.
“In the past, teachers tend to shut the door and the lesson is something shared between only the teacher and the students,” she says. “With VC, my lessons are now shared with students and teachers at other campuses, as well as the other teachers in our VC area at my campus. I've even had the odd occasion where a parent has been able to watch a lesson. On the flip side, I get to see other teachers delivering lessons while I am supervising students at my campus. I learn new skills and techniques from watching other teachers’ lessons.”
Having worked in New South Wales and the Northern Territory gives Genevieve an interesting insight into the behaviour of students.
“The overall behaviour of students at OneSchool is much better than that of students at other schools I've worked at,” she says. “Kids are still kids, but I've found that the students are almost always honest and when they've done the wrong thing they usually accept responsibility, own up and accept the consequences. Also, the students are supportive of each other regardless of age or ability. Older students will happily help younger students. They show great sportsmanship. And they love to organise events. They run the best fundraising events, from catering for the biggest morning tea to community music concerts.”
A common thread among teachers from OneSchool is the amount of support they get not just from the parents, but the community as a whole. Agnew is no exception.
“Being a small school with a strong community supporting it means I get to know every student as well as their families,” says Genevieve. “I get to witness them learn and grow over the years. The tiny year 3 students when I first started at Agnew are now my year 11 students! Parents and community members play a huge role in the school, much more than any other school I've worked at. They volunteer in so many ways, and when a school event is on the whole community turns up.”