Michelle knows that sometimes, all it takes for a child to grasp a difficult concept is for their teacher to approach it in a manner they can understand. For example, Michelle remembers fondly a lesson from her previous position as a Christian Studies teacher in which she had to eat a rose! During a lesson about the doubt surrounding historical evidence of the resurrection, she sent two students outside while the remainder watched her eat the flower. “No matter how much evidence the class presented when the students came back inside that I had actually eaten it, at least one of the students would still not believe it,” she says.
Now as a Mathematics educator, organiser of the College homework club, and mentor for Stage 5 girls, Michelle is able to use her talents helping kids who are struggling to grasp the concepts they learn in class. “That’s what excites me about teaching, the moment when you communicate a difficult concept to a student and they ‘get’ it,” she says. “Seeing the increase in confidence that their achievement brings is all I need.”
When Michelle envisions the perfect learning environment she sees a space that is continually improving. “It’s a place where it is desirable to achieve and be seen to achieve, and where there is the perfect tension between kids pushing each other on to greater achievement, supporting others and celebrating their current achievement,” she says.