Katrina Harte’s infectious passion for teaching shows why she recently won the 2014 Teachers’ Guild of NSW Award for Excellence in secondary teaching.
Our Lady Of Mercy College Burraneer’s incoming Science Co-ordinator is grateful for her first teaching award and the career fork in the road that lead her to teaching.
“I started a degree in Medical Science and I had an epiphany about wanting to move into education,” said Katrina. “I knew it was my vocation because I looked forward to going to one of my five part-time jobs including Maths, English and Clarinet tutoring, dance teaching, literacy teaching for adults with special needs, and leading a youth group bible study.
“I had that ‘Ah ha’ moment every time I saw a student smile after getting it right, seeing their expression shift from a blank, confused look to wide-eyed fascination, watching their face light up when they persevere or talk about their own passion, or watching their expression change just by hearing the words, ‘great work’!”
Katrina says she realised she had a passion for helping others when her husband pointed out that her own face lit up from teaching others.
In less than 2 years of her first full-time teaching position, she has already been appointed a leadership role and nominated by colleagues for her extraordinary work with students.
Assistant Principal Sherrol Gane said Katrina had a warm personality and wonderful rapport with students of all ages and aptitude.
“She has exhibited her true passion for teaching by taking on her new leadership role diligently,” Ms Gane said. “Her subject knowledge is outstanding, and her willingness to modify lessons and experiment with new strategies demonstrate her motivation to strive for excellence in the craft of teaching.
“She has had an exceptional start to her teaching career and has a very promising future,” Mrs Gane said.
Katrina receives a certificate, cash prize and one year’s free membership of the Teachers’ Guild.
As a beginning teacher, Katrina said she is appreciative of the support and trust from her school in giving her a co-ordinator role.
She also hopes to enrich and make a difference in students’ lives.
“If your actions can inspire them to dream more, do more, then that’s what makes a great teacher,” she said.
“There’s a never point when you can say, ‘I’m done, I know everything about teaching’. There is always more to learn; there is always new research coming out about best teaching practices; there’s always a different class with different students that have different needs, and that constant reflective process of working out what things worked and what things didn’t.”
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