New teachers happy to start new year

TIM EDMUNDSAlbany Advertiser

While the first day of school was daunting for new students, the experience was perhaps even worse for graduate teachers who stepped into classrooms for the first time on Monday.

At Yakamia Primary School, mature-age teaching graduates Leanne Dodson and Shelley Kowalski said they were filled with “nervous excitement” as they stepped into their new classrooms.

Ms Kowalski, who answered an 11th-hour call to teach kindergarten, said she was glad she took up the offer only days before Semester 1 began.

“It went really well. I was expecting tears and we had one parent in tears,” she said

“I was very nervous, but I didn’t want to overload them.”

Ms Dodson had set her sights on relief teaching for the year, but was offered a position teaching a combined Year 6 and 7 class and jumped at the opportunity, having lived in Albany for four years.

“I started doing nursing, but I always wanted to teach,” she said.

“I’m so glad I did it. The kids are just so creative — they give a totally different perspective.”

Both teachers believed they were lucky to be offered their preferred teaching location.

Having grown up in Albany, Ms Kowalski said teaching in her hometown was her preferred choice having turned down an offer to move to Fitzroy Crossing.

“We both did our final practicals here at Yakamia so I think that helped us secure jobs here as we were already familiar,” she said.

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