What is a Teacher?

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz #179 – 20th May 2020

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I know I said I was retiring but I will keep going, slowly, until the end of the calendar year.

What is a Teacher?

The following article appeared in Sylvia Marina’s latest newsletter. I liked it so much I’m sharing part of it here, with permission.

“What defines a teacher?

A teacher is an awakener, an influencer, a sharer of experience and knowledge, a visionary, a keeper of dreams, a sower of seeds, a leader, a mentor, a builder, an inspirer… the holder of empathy, patience, compassion, kindness and a bringing together of community.

Close your eyes for a minute and recall a schoolteacher who made a difference in your life.

I recall my first teacher. She was awesome for all the right reasons, strict, sensitive to the needs of the youngest and smallest child in the classroom (me). She had an expectation, and I adored her and wanted to please.

The best teacher is the one who brings out the best in the student.

I am hoping that all of you model yourselves on the teacher who made the best impression on you. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Based on the expression, ‘Your life is either an example or a warning’, you might have had the misfortune to experience someone appalling in your life and vowed that if ever you became a teacher, you would be the opposite of that person. Hopefully, like Sylvia Marina, you had the very good fortune of experiencing someone inspirational.

Many years ago I was invited to participate in Robyn Henderson’s trilogy of books called ‘What My Favourite Teacher Taught Me’. Your favourite teacher may not have been a classroom teacher, but someone who had a huge and beneficial influence on you. In this sense, we are all ‘teachers’, inside or outside the classroom. I wrote about an inspirational tutor in my undergraduate days at Curtin University and I’m happy to say it was accepted. All three books contain uplifting and extraordinary stories. You never know the influence you have over your charges. Sometimes a supportive teacher is the only real support a student has.

In closing, keep on being the legends you are, especially during these very trying times. It is hard to keep on meeting the needs of everybody around you so please ensure you take care of yourselves. That is not being selfish, it’s being sensible. You can’t help others if you having nothing left in the tank.

ECE State Conference in Perth 19 & 20 June 2020 has now been postponed to 30 & 31 October

Quotes of the Week

Education is one of the most noble professions on the planet. Sylvia Marina

I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think. Socrates

We’re Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Dr Gordon Livingston


ECE State Conference 2019 Perth

What was the most important thing you learnt today?

Child-friendly songs.
Spacing music and giving ‘rest’ breaks.
New tapping stick songs and Rainbow Circle.
New ideas for incorporating MORE music in my teaching day.
Tapping sticks. Good combination.
Rainbow ring.
So many ideas! Found my ‘30’ today.
The different types of simple resources you can use to implement music, movement and drama.
Lots of new ideas.
The combination of music and movement and the use of ‘happy sticks’, scarves, ribbons and rainbow rings.
Lots of open-ended music activities.
Loved the multicultural music and incorporating gross and fine motor skills.
Reminder to get the ‘happy sticks’, scarves and ribbons out!
Lots of good ideas. I like the drama ideas to use with music (Sugar Plum Fairies).
The variety of different music and movement ideas.


Now for some uplifting photographs to make your day. Enjoy!

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at conferences. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892 Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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