With a musical background as a singer and a fiddler, Sarah’s creative streak shines through into her teaching. To provide her students with a space where they can let their creativity flow, Sarah starts the school year with routine.
“My goals change throughout the year,” she says. “At the beginning of the year I prioritise rules and routines. When the children know the expectations, they blossom because the classroom is calm and quiet and they feel safe and secure. Once the behaviour is established, I encourage creativity through art, music, and critical thinking.
“School shouldn’t be boring! I try to link in art and music to ensure each child’s success. For example, when we are learning about lines in maths, I do directed drawings. Not only do they learn about open and closed shapes, curved lines, and straight lines, but concepts like parallel lines. I find this so valuable as they can easily translate this to real world knowledge.”
Seeing how her creative as well as structured teaching methods boost her students’ learning and knowledge is what Sarah finds most rewarding in her role.
“Just because they are little does not mean that they aren’t capable of incredible things,” she says. “One of the major things that I learned from studying at JCU was to have high expectations of my students. For example, we were learning the letter ‘x’ last year and one of the words a student gave me was oxidisation. They blow my mind!”
Another benefit of her school year plan is getting to keep fun as a part of the classroom.
“Because I put so much effort into establishing rules and routines at the beginning of the year, I am also able to use humour to engage students,” she says. “But this only works because I am able to rein them in easily after we have been silly."
“The best way I can summarise my teaching is that I’m like a live performance version of play school with some behaviour management thrown in. It’s absolutely exhausting, but so worth it to see the smiles on their faces!”
Sarah Del Favero