Classroom Hero, Vanessa Alexander, shares her experience in self-preservation as a teacher and principal.
“I remember in my first term of teaching, in my first year. I was 21 and I was trying to understand how I could get my work done and live my life. So, I decided to put together a timetable for my day. Much to my surprise and horror, I calculated that there are only 168 hours in a week. Honestly, I thought I had calculated incorrectly, or I was making a mistake, or the calculator was wrong. But no, 24×7=168. It seemed such a small amount of time.”
Tell us about your childhood…
I had a great childhood! We lived on a property with heaps of pets! I learned via correspondence and had many great teachers. My mother has been the most prominent. My grandmother and many governesses were also my teachers.
Tell us about why you became a teacher?
I became a teacher to work with children. Listen to them, learn from them, support them on their life’s journey. To empower them to make a difference in our world.
Did anyone, in particular, inspire you to become a teacher? What was it about them that inspired you?
I’ve had some wonderful teachers along the way. My grandmother was a piano teacher. She is very inspirational. Definitely my parents. They taught me to be resilient in the face of challenges. They also taught me to stand up for my beliefs, but make sure I can back up my claim… even if no one is listening. My mum for sure! She was my first teacher as school began for me with correspondence.
In high school, my Japanese teacher was very inspirational. The passion, joy, and effort she put into teaching kids from the bush a very foreign language was something to behold. She organised one of the first overseas trips for our little western high school to Japan. It was the highlight of my high school education.