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Advice from an experienced hand for new Prep families

Education has been the passion and profession of Queensland independent school teacher Cathie Robinson for more than 30 years.

Mrs Robinson is one of the state’s recognised expert teachers, having achieved certification at the most advanced level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. This means she is a Lead Teacher.

In 2020, Mrs Robinson – a Prep teacher from St Luke’s Anglican School in Bundaberg – shares the insights and advice she has gathered over her extensive education career with the families of Prep children embarking on the first year of their 13-year school journey.

“My number one piece of advice is to foster a positive feeling about the school, teacher and teacher assistant,” she recommends.

“Building a connection allows the child (and parent) to have a sense of belonging.

“Talk at home about the new things the child will be experiencing and show excitement about them telling you all about it.

“It is quite common for students in the first few weeks to be overwhelmed by the experiences during the day and to come home exhausted and sometimes cranky.

“This is all part of the settling process. Pre-arranging strategies with the teacher will also help to alleviate this concerning time for child and parent.

“Set a routine, such as waiting for the morning bell, music etc to start or standing and waving from the veranda. Some children may need to set up a routine to do before school with the assistant – collecting library books and checking pencils etc.

“My advice is to make sure you take the time to connect with the teacher, teacher assistant and other parents. You are joining your child’s school family!

“Amazingly I am still filled with excitement, and adrenaline begins to pump as I enter every new year in Prep.

“Setting up the learning environment, so the children will be engaged and feel they are joining our Prep Family; new children who are eager to know everything about the world around them; meeting parents also eager to do the very best for their child – it is truly an honour to be part of this magical journey.

“Working in the Preparatory year, I have always felt it is my responsibility to have the children fall in love with learning.  I want them to have the skills to navigate their future; to able to be socially aware, self-managers, collaborators, negotiators, have a growth mindset and be kind and empathetic humans.”

Meet the growing number of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers working in Queensland independent schools here.