Sharing stories: I teach rural and remote
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 128 No 3, 5 May 2023, page no. 25
Three years into her teaching career, Christine Darcey of Yarrabah State School explains what she has learned during her time in a rural school.
Why did you become a teacher?
I have always had a passion for working with children. I was inspired to become a teacher after working as an educational assistant in my rural hometown. I found this role to be very rewarding. This experience and the encouragement I received from other teachers and educators in the industry empowered me to start my journey to becoming a primary teacher.
Why did you choose to teach in a regional/rural setting?
My interest in teaching in rural and remote settings was influenced by my personal experiences living and working in rural areas across Far North Queensland. I feel a sense of belonging and familiarity working in these kinds of settings. There are always opportunities for me to grow as a person and develop my sense of identity and cultural competence.
What is one tip you would give to teachers living and working in a regional or rural community?
Go into any new place or situation with an open mind and evaluate any preconceptions you may have about the community. The economic, social, and cultural understandings of individuals and groups may be different within rural and remote communities, so it is important to be compassionate and understanding towards yourself and others in all situations. Celebrate diversity and use it to learn about yourself and connect to those around you. Becoming aware of yourself and your values will allow you to use these opportunities to build strong meaningful connections with children and families.
How would you finish this sentence? I couldn’t do this job without…
Collaboration and support from other educational professionals within the school and wider community. Positive collegial relationships have empowered me in my role by helping me build my confidence, while cultivating a positive working environment, which is integral to maintaining personal wellbeing and professional success.
What is one way the QTU has supported you in your teaching?
The QTU support teachers in various ways. Specifically, the Union understands how challenging teaching can be in the first few years and has won specific support in schools for beginning teachers. Having extra time off-class in my first year was very beneficial. It allowed me to have more time with my mentor teacher and meant that I could manage my workload more effectively.