Teachers Tips

Reporter: Andrea Burns

Imagine if your job involved preparing people for careers that aren't invented yet, using technology that doesn't exist. That's the challenge teachers face, every day. Getting our kids ready for a future we can't even dream of.

Top teachers

1. Ray Roberts, Ballajura Community College

2. Judith Hill, Baldivis Primary

3. Wayne Baddock, Busselton Senior High

4. Auriol Heary, Ardross Primary

5. Karen Augustson, Little Grove Primary

6. Rosinda Seara, Hamilton Hill High

7. Elisa Williamson, Mindarie Senior College

8. Julie Boston, John Curtin College of the Arts

These are some of the best teachers in the business. Career educators.Over the past few years, they've been finalists and winners of the Teacher of the Year awards. Can they teach anyone? They'll try. And what makes these teachers special , is if plan A doesn't work with a child, they'll work out a plan B or C or D. Wayne Baddock says "I use activities where students are well and truly taken out of their comfort zone" Busselton High's Wayne Baddock uses scuba diving to challenge students' thinking. "Sending a fairly inexperienced 16 year old down to an 18 metre dive will bring up a whole lot of issues, I just use those things to teach life skills team work, getting on with each other, being organised, bieng prepared, that sort of thing"

Judith Hill says "I took 29 children to canberra to an international environment youth conference" At Parliament House, Judith Hill from Baldivis Primary introduced students to Julia Gillard and Peter Garrett. "Not to waste the opportunity, I engaged the children to present petitions and they ran the meeting with the ministers and presented their petitions"

Last year's teacher of the year Julie Boston, but before going into teaching, Julie Boston started her working life as a biochemist. "I really had a passion for science since I was about 4, I was the why kid, why dad, why mum" She only graduated as a teacher in 2003. Now a science teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts, Julie's love for her new profession was recognised last year."I was totally overhwelmed, it was absolutely brilliant" Like many of her peers, Julie believes the key to giving kids a quality education lies in being flexible, tailoring lessons to students. She says the more engaged kids are, the better they learn. Julie happily incorporates technology into lessons, because it interests her students.

These teachers say educating children is a collaboration, a relationship between the child, the teacher and parents. They have these tips to help kids do the best they can.

1. Get involved - Students - try that new subject, or new sport, give it a go

Parents too - visit the classroom, email the teacher. Build your own relationship with the school.

2. Kids don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's the only way to learn. Teachers describe it as taking "intelligent risks".

3. read - books, online, papers, it doesn't matter. Inform yourself. Parents and kids

4. Talk - round the dinner table, discuss world events, what happenned today. You'll be surprised what you'll learn.

5. Question. always ask WHY.

Why should you ask why?

"Thinking critically, looking for evidence, not just accepting cos its in the paper that its this or that , what's the source of that information , where did that come from, yeah, just being critically aware of the world"

These teachers love what they do - and it shows. All say they're not only preparing students for more learning, they're preparing them for life. they can be whatever they want.