Teachers praised for efforts during disrupted year

In the lead-up to World Teachers’ Day (celebrated in Queensland on 30 October), USC invited school communities to nominate teachers who have excelled in their work this year despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The social media activity by the University attracted almost 100 nominations and has revealed some exceptional educators from across the region.

Among them are Caloundra State High School’s first Head of Department for eLearning Michelle Fry and Caboolture State High School special education teacher Gaye Inall.

Michelle was nominated by a school student’s parent, who praised her calm approach to managing online learning when it was suddenly introduced in April.

“Pioneering a system that previously didn’t exist, navigating many firsts and anxious teachers, students and parents, Michelle did a great job keeping everyone calm through regular communication,” said the parent in her nomination form.

“Everything was new. Everything was a challenge. But for many, Michelle’s genuine care for the students and parents made the whole situation so much more manageable.”

Gaye was nominated by a Caboolture High teaching colleague for her passion and advocacy in supporting the learning of students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

“Gaye, who is deaf herself, has been instrumental in developing and teaching Australian sign language (AUSLAN) as a Languages subject at Caboolture State High School,” her workmate said.

“This year there were four excited groups of students learning AUSLAN as a subject, and next year Gaye is excited to be teaching AUSLAN as a first language to deaf students.”

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