National excellence at Deloraine Primary

National excellence at Deloraine Primary

JANUARY 2018 | Sharon Webb

DELORAINE NATIONAL teaching award winner Jan Berne nearly didn’t become a teacher.

A lack of prospective teaching jobs meant the Deloraine Primary School kinder teacher dropped out of uni after the first year to work in banking for 14 years.

Happily, she went back as a mature age student, opening the way for her contributions at Meander, Deloraine and Our Lady of Mercy Primary Schools – and for her Tasmania win in the ASG* National Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“There were 1450 nominations nationally for the awards, with 60 shortlisted,” Jan said.

“I had to write a series of answers to education and teaching questions – and was one of two Tasmanian teachers to get in the 60.”

Now that number has been fine-tuned to 30. Over summer, Jan must write a 1000-word essay on an education topic of her choice to compete to be among 12 winners to be announced in March next year and win a trophy and $5000 for professional development.

“I’m proud to be in the 60. The acknowledgement from the community has been overwhelming,” Jan said.

Jan teaches kinder at Deloraine Primary School three days a week and for the past year has worked one day a week as a teacher aide at Giant Steps, Deloraine’s school for autistic children.

“Giant Steps has been such a help in managing my kinder classroom,” she said.

“I wanted to gain expertise in teaching strategies and learning resources for the children with special needs in my class.

“It has made me reassess my class completely; even children who don’t have special needs benefit from using these strategies.”

Jan Berne has strong ties to Deloraine. Having attended primary and high schools there, her goal was to be a teacher at her old primary.

“My youngest son Ryan is in grade six there now – in the same room as I was in,” she said.

Jan’s husband Jamie runs the family dairy farm, listed in the top 100 in the 2017 Milk Quality Awards.

Daughter Emma, now 25, is completing her masters as a clinical psychologist and son Cody is in year nine at St Patrick’s College.

Jan’s weeks are full, with family, the farm, teaching and co-ordinating the school basketball team, including fund-raising to cover the team’s registration and umpiring costs.

It’s all part of her personal philosophy to give children as many opportunities for success as possible.

“For kinder, I believe every day should be fun but educational,” Jan said.

“Everyone must have the opportunity for success, including children with special needs.”

*ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards gives parents, grandparents, school boards and councils, and committees of management the opportunity to formally thank and recognise outstanding and dedicated teachers. Australian Scholarships Group is an organisation that facilitates families paying for their children’s education.

Sharon Webb

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