Tagai State College, Thursday Island Campus
Dramatic improvements in before-school behaviour have been reported at one of the state’s most remote schools, where an inspirational teacher is making a big difference to the lives of students.
More students at Tagai State College, in the Torres Strait in remote far north Queensland, have been turning up to class on time as a result of before-school learning clubs Kristen Gynes has initiated and supported.
The inspirational teacher, who worked with local indigenous teachers and indigenous community members to enhance a before-school learning club on Boigu Island, before duplicating it for the Thursday Island campus, is one of four Tagai State College teachers nominated for a Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award.
Kristen, who has been appointed a mentor for other beginning teachers, has been praised for her exemplary explicit teaching practices and her dedication to students.
She structures her lessons to include connections with students’ personal beliefs, so the content resonates with pupils.
Her strategies, including the use of the Speech Sound Pics phonics program, have helped students achieve outstanding results in reading, writing and oral language.
Kristen has been welcomed into her students’ family lives because of the effective relationships she develops and often joins in on cultural activities in the community.
Congratulations Kristen on your nomination.
- Story by Jessica Schwilk