JOHN Forrest Secondary College science teacher Rob Woodward says he is still “learning the ropes” despite being named a finalist in this year’s WA Education Awards.
The 51-year-old Balcatta resident has been teaching for only about two-and-a-half years after spending three decades as a researcher in physics and chemistry at the University of Western Australia and Curtin University.Dr Woodward said he felt honoured yet a little embarrassed to be a finalist in the WA Beginning Teacher of the Year category.
“I was pleasantly surprised and happy to be nominated by the school and when I first was told I was a finalist didn’t think much of it,” he said.
“But to be one of four across the state, when I know there are so many good teachers out there is an honour.
“If I was to win the award I think it would be a great recognition of the school.
“In addition to this I feel like it would be a recognition of the enormous support of my family as I transitioned to a new career.”
Dr Woodward moved into secondary teaching based on his experience at university and his enjoyment gained from helping others learn.
He was offered a job at the Morley school after completing a practicum placement in term one in 2016.
“Every so often there are those moments when the students realise that they do know the answer, that they can solve problems that they previously thought were impossible, or finally get the concept that you have been trying to teach,” he said.
“To help a student get to that point in there learning where it does make sense is just a wonderful feeling.”
He aimed to continue making a difference in students’ lives.
“I have lots I want to do as a teacher, the award for which I have been nominated is the ‘beginning teacher’ and in many respects I feel that is what I am,” he said.
“I also want to work with my school and colleagues to improve what we do and how we do it so that we can make that difference more often and help our students achieve the very best they can.”