5 Oct 2023

Natalie Wells

Outstanding Contribution to Teaching

Natalie Wells

Experienced kindergarten teacher Natalie Wells is passionate about investing in the next generation of early childhood educators. Working at Heights College in Rockhampton for the last five years, Natalie’s long career in regional early childhood education began 21 years ago. Over this time, she has provided opportunities for hundreds of student teachers from high schools, TAFE, and universities to learn and grow from her influence and guidance.

Natalie’s nurturing and caring learning environments have allowed student teachers to consider the whole growth of children. She has been described as inspirational as she models the genuine warmth, care and compassion required for the job. She will soon embark on a two-year trailblazing traineeship with Year Ten students completing their early childhood education certificates, which is a first for Heights College, and for Natalie.

In addition to running quality kindergarten programs, Natalie has invested her time and effort in children’s community events like Romp in the Park and Messy Play Days, providing experiences for young people to celebrate childhood. The college receives regular feedback about her professionalism, warmth, and quality of her learning spaces. As part of her role, Natalie also guides a committee of volunteers in navigating the running of the licensed educational venue, as well as considering budgeting, resourcing, maintaining enrolments and fundraising ventures.

Natalie says she was drawn to the profession to nurture, inspire and support young pupils. She hopes to gently guide and provide students with the foundation they need to become lifelong learners and celebrate their successes through play-based learning.

In her nomination, colleagues wrote: “Natalie places value on every person that enters her classroom and they leave feeling uplifted and esteemed.”

“The warmth and genuine relationship within her room is tangible and felt by all who visit.”