The care and passion for the many cultural backgrounds that make up the Rochedale State School community is evident under the guidance of 2023 Excellence in Teaching recipient Tara Barron.
Tara recognised a reluctance of parents who speak English as an Additional Language or Dialect to connect with the school. She initiated actions to embrace all families and students and create a culture of true inclusion. Tara’s initiatives celebrated the diversity within the community by striving to embed ‘home’ languages in everyday classroom life.
Within twelve months, staff had engaged students to answer the roll and simple questions, to greet each other, and to close school assemblies in ‘home’ languages. Parent-Teacher interviews have also moved to first languages, with students acting as interpreters.
“I always wanted to work with children, inspire them and make a positive impact on future lives and the future world,” Tara said.
Acknowledging the work that Tara has undertaken, in 2018 she was invited to be part of a pilot program through Education Queensland International to develop a state-wide approach to global competence within the curriculum. This pilot program engaged over 1,400 state schools and drafted a Global Competence Framework that launched in 2022 at EQI’s Leading Global Futures Conference in front of 600 delegates.
“Facilitating children to ‘self-achieve’ and believe in their potential while smiling and enjoying their learning is what makes a good day,” Tara said.
Tara’s work with the Rochedale State School community has seen her being listed on The Educator magazine’s ‘Hot List’ for 2022 and announced as Primary School Teacher of the Year (Government) at this year's Australian Education Awards.
“Teaching is a calling not a job, you have to have a love for educating students if you are going to have a successful career.”