Matthew North

Primary School,
New South Wales

What inspired you to get into teaching?

My inspiration for teaching began during my school years when I realised the profound impact a good teacher can have on a young person's life. This realisation fueled my desire to make a difference in students' educational experiences. I started my journey as a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO) while completing my Bachelor of Education. During these five years of working in a school environment, I developed a deep love and admiration for the teaching profession. Witnessing teachers' dedication, creativity, and influence firsthand solidified my passion for education. Each day, I saw the positive changes that teachers could inspire in their students, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that transformative process. This experience was instrumental in shaping my commitment to becoming a teacher.

Why do you teach?

Teaching in a primary school is deeply rewarding and challenging. I love shaping the foundational years of a student's education and fostering a lifelong love for learning. I enjoy developing students’ essential skills like literacy, numeracy, and social interaction while creating an engaging and supportive environment. My impact goes beyond academics; I help build confidence, curiosity, and a sense of community. The joy of witnessing a student's growth and contributing to their future success is unparalleled. Knowing I can inspire and nurture the next generation makes primary school teaching incredibly fulfilling.

What's your stand out/most memorable teaching moment?

One of my most memorable teaching moments involves a student I taught from Year 5. When he first joined my class, he was highly anxious and nervous, especially in social settings and during English lessons. Over the two years I taught him, I witnessed an incredible transformation. It was a long and sometimes challenging journey, but his growth in confidence as both a student and a young man was remarkable. He went from performing below stage level to meeting and sometimes exceeding stage expectations. The highlight was seeing him perform as a character in our school musical in front of an audience of 350 people. This experience stands out as a testament to the profound impact dedicated teaching can have on a student's life.

What is your advice for new teachers or people considering a career in teaching?

My advice for new teachers or those considering a career in teaching is to be like a sponge and learn from everyone around you—executives, SLSOs, and classroom teachers. Building strong relationships with your students and their parents is crucial. Prioritise self-care and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance and assistance. Being confident and knowledgeable about the content you need to teach will ease the stresses of day-to-day responsibilities, making you more comfortable and effective in the classroom. The most important piece of advice I can give is to always remember that teaching is incredibly fun. If you bring enjoyment and passion into your classroom, you'll have a great chance of being successful. Embrace every moment, and let your enthusiasm inspire your students.

Headshot – Matthew North, looking at camera, smiling

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