KEEPING up with kids in sport class is challenging, but for Tuart Rise Primary’s Teacher of the Year nominee Brigit Wall, it has been 18 years of unbridled joy.
The physical education teacher, with a background in autism and special needs, is one of four teachers vying for the title of Primary Teacher of the Year and one of two from Rockingham, alongside Bungaree Primary’s Jodie Schicker.
She says seeing the kids improve and have fun has been all the motivation she needs to keep teaching.
“I love my job,” she said.
“I’m passionate about what I do. I like to see the kids achieve, do well and make a difference. That realisation of making a difference and seeing the kids go ‘yeah I can do this’ or believing in themselves, setting goals and achieving them long-term (is what I enjoy most).”
After starting her career at Greenfield Primary in 1998, Ms Wall enjoyed a stint at North Mandurah Primary before starting at Tuart Rise when it opened last year.
She has her name on almost every committee, saying she loves to be involved with parents as well as students.
“I love being part of the school and knowing what’s going on and being part of the community and being involved with the parents. Those are really important, I think,” she said.
Ms Wall also runs extracurricular sports classes for kids who might not otherwise get the chance to play a sport anywhere else.
“Over the years, the make-up of the home has definitely changed, so I try and cater for those kids who don’t get weekend sport or anything like that because both parents have to work,” she said.
“It’s really hard depending on where you teach with some socio-economic climates, so I provide before-school programs for the kids so they do still have opportunities to play different sports with their mates and have teams so they don’t miss out. Parents can afford it because it’s free.”
Ms Wall also teaches karate 15 hours a week after-hours including at elite level as a National Australian Coach.
The fight for Teacher of the Year might be one of her toughest yet, but Ms Wall said win, lose or draw, as long as she is still teaching, she will be happy.
“I do my job because I love it, not for any other reason,” she said.
“It’s not for the accolades. It’s just to see kids achieve their potential, but it would be pretty cool to win.”
The winner of the Primary Teacher of the Year award will be crowned at the WA Education Awards 2016 on November 28.