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St Andrew’s Anglican College

Highly Accomplished Teacher Kerrie Johnstone credits a passionate and caring senior Mathematics teacher as her inspiration for entering the profession. 

Kerrie Johnstone | Highly Accomplished
Secondary Maths/Science Teacher | 8 Years Teaching

"I am here because I care and want to make a difference in the lives of young people."

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I was fortunate enough to have a highly passionate and caring Math teacher in Years 11 and 12 who inspired me to become a teacher like her. I think what really gave me confidence was that she was a self-confessed learner and wasn’t always the strongest Mathematician, but she loved working with students and working it out together. It made me realise persistence, hard work and passion will get you a long way!

What do you love most about being a teacher?

Like all teachers I am here because I care and want to make a difference in the lives of young people, so I most love the “aha” moments and seeing students progress over time both personally, socially and academically.

When you are working with young people, no two days are ever the same and you are never bored. If you are, you have the autonomy to change it and make it more fun! I love having freedom to be creative and the challenge of coming up with new and better ways to do things.

What do you believe, from your own personal experience, has the greatest impact on student learning?

Recognising and respecting the inherent value of each student. I believe every one of my students can learn and my faith in them is the most important thing.

I want my students to enjoy coming to my classes like I do. I want them to feel safe to ask questions. I want them to be challenged to experience successes and failures. Math and Science is my keen interest but as Chick Moorman puts it “it’s just the water we splash around in”. Ultimately, I am trying to make myself redundant by creating self-motivated, responsible, independent, lifelong learners who have a growth mindset, can become who they want to be and take pride in what they are doing.

Of course, being organised and developing considered units is a part of this impact on the quality of student learning too.

What have you learned about yourself as a teacher by undertaking national certification?

Professionally, the opportunity to undertake national certification has given me the chance to reflect on my practice in a more organised way and to focus my goals more. I have realised that I am probably moving into a new stage in my career where I am more leadership focused than I have been in the past and this has made me look at the bigger picture more.

Personally, I had to work through the fear about whether I would get certification and whether I was good enough. It has been a reaffirming process in the end and given me more confidence to keep pushing myself with new challenges.

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