"Every year my first goal is to shape a classroom where learning is exciting, challenging and celebrated, and where curiosity is encouraged."
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Buckley House Prep teacher, Ms Kellie Redmond, for a series of interviews with teachers at Ivanhoe Grammar School. Ms Redmond joined Ivanhoe at the start of the 2017 school year and has been leading sustainability initiatives in the classroom and beyond.
What is your personal motto on Early Childhood Education?
As a Prep teacher, I feel the utmost responsibility to ignite a love of learning in the children I teach. Every year my first goal is to shape a classroom where learning is exciting, challenging and celebrated, and where curiosity is encouraged. I do this by developing strong relationships with my students and by building an understanding of their interests and strengths. This helps me create and maintain a safe learning environment where children feel happy and safe to take risks. I am extremely passionate about education and believe that my enthusiasm for school has a positive influence on my students’ attitudes towards learning.
You are very passionate about teaching students about sustainability. Tell me about your proudest sustainability achievement this year.
I am excited to be co-leading the Sustainability Team this year. What really engages me is the evident value Ivanhoe Grammar School places on developing our students as global citizens and the engagement with various other associations with the same motivation. The Sustainability Team has been fortunate this year to work with our Global Citizenship Centre to plan and implement many initiatives.
I am most proud of the overall promotion of sustainability at Buckley House. Along with co-leader Megan Crewe, I drive maintainable initiatives that will grow and develop over time and leave a legacy of sustainability at Buckley House.
Our team has successfully developed and maintained a produce garden, used the proceeds from the sales to purchase a worm farm, and most recently introduced classroom composting to maintain the worm farm. These initiatives have allowed not only our Sustainability Leaders to be involved, but children from across the school. Local cafe, Mr Peebles, is also involved and they kindly deliver coffee grounds to go into our worm farm. I feel we are well on our way to making and maintaining sustainable community changes.
What is your favourite thing about working at Buckley House?
How can I pick one?! This is my first year at Buckley House and after eight years at my previous school, I was naturally both excited and nervous about the transition. From my first day, I immediately felt welcome. Buckley House has a remarkably positive culture among staff, which I believe is evident throughout the school and I feel fortunate to be part of.
I also feel fortunate to be part of the Prep team where my partner Kym Leon and I aim to make learning fun and engaging for our students. I love that I am able to share in the excitement of a child’s first year of school and celebrate their successes with their families.
Can you tell me a funny story from your Prep classroom?
I have taught Prep for the last six years and have accumulated so many stories during this time. One day I may be able to publish memoirs of my experiences! Some stories are not for sharing, but I just want to inform parents that nothing that happens at home is sacred. I have had many stories told to me from children about the shenanigans of family holidays or things I am sure their parents would rather me not know! Each story leaves me with a little smile thinking, “If only your Mummy knew you were telling me this!” I get most of my laughs from the general day-to-day experiences. Prep children have such a great sense of humour. Just the other day two of my students decided to play a little trick on me and removed all my Richmond football cards from the wall. They then replaced them with their teams. The joy they got out of seeing me when I noticed was priceless! I also get a good chuckle from some of the phrases I hear myself say, for example, “Please don’t pick someone else’s nose!” or “No if it has been in the bin best we don’t eat it!” I never take for granted what I need to teach children, but sometimes I just don’t know how I do it with a straight face!