In celebration of our amazing teaching staff, we will be showcasing a staff member each week.
This week we feature Paul O'Brien, Primary Years Programme Co-ordinator (Years 3-6).
Paul began his teaching career at PLC in 2002 teaching Year 7. After several years he relocated overseas, teaching in international schools in London and Beijing, before returning to PLC in 2008 as a Year 5 teacher.
During his time overseas, Paul developed a passion for the philosophy and pedagogy that underpins the International Baccalaureate’s programmes. In particular, international mindedness and the ways in which the programmes enable students to personalise and lead their own learning. Paul is currently the Primary Years Programme Co-ordinator (Years 3 to 6) in the Junior School and an International Baccalaureate Workshop Leader.
What inspires you?
Creativity. Working with staff who are committed to developing creative and authentic learning experiences for students that are grounded in inquiry and curiosity. It’s a complex and highly developed skill set for teachers to possess and seeing it in action every day is a privilege. Seeing this creativity, curiosity and wonder transferred in students through their learning, is pure joy.
What are you working on at the moment?
Presenting a ‘classroom story’ at AISWA Early Childhood Conference with my colleague and fellow Primary Years Programme Co-ordinator, Jennifer Rickwood. Collaboration is such a core element of the workplace at PLC and the opportunity to share the best practices of our colleagues with Jennifer is an exciting opportunity.
What is important to you as a teacher?
Relationships. Relationships with the students we take care of and educate, relationships and the culture that exists amongst colleagues as a group of educators, and the relationships we have with members of our School community are all so important. We know that when these relationships are strong this directly and positively impacts student achievement and growth.
What experiences have you had in the past and what do you feel you bring to PLC?
Prior to becoming a teacher, I studied Art and Design, majoring in Film and Television production. What drew me to this field was creativity and communication. Working in education also affords me the same opportunities to be creative and to communicate and work with others. I would like to think that I bring these elements to PLC in my role; collaborating with staff, who are committed to delivering high quality education, in order to see each student grow as a learner and a person.