Rostrata Primary School teacher nominated for Primary Teacher of the Year

Courtney Johnston with her Year 2 students.
Courtney Johnston with her Year 2 students.

A DECADE into her teaching career, Courtney Johnston’s passion for teaching still burns as brightly as it did when she started.

Now her passion to help students has been recognised with a WA Education Award nomination in the Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year category.

The Rostrata Primary School teacher said she still gets the same joy from seeing her students succeed as she did when she first started.

“My most favourite times are when you see little ‘light bulb’ moments happen to an individual,” she said.

“The happiness that student feels in that moment, with their peers encouraging them, is something you never get sick of seeing.”

Now in her ninth year at the Willetton school, Ms Johnston said she worked hard to ensure she had a personal connection with each of her students.

“We spend a good part of six hours a day together, so it’s important to develop a rapport with each child to develop their self-esteem and confidence,” she said.

“As adults, we often don’t remember what we actually learnt back in Year 2, but remember how our teachers made us feel.”

While any teacher can tell you children can be testing, Ms Johnston said she learnt the importance of flexibility, acceptance and patience over the years.

“It took a while, but over my years of experience I’ve learnt to prioritise what is most important to my students,” she said.

“At the end of the day, they are the most important factor and why I do what I do each day.”

Ms Johnston, who admitted she was “overwhelmed” to hear about the nomination, said her family background in teaching made her want to inspire others from an early age.

“With my mum and many family members in teaching, I often helped during school holidays to make things for classrooms, which I loved,” she said.