NEITA-award winning teacher Rachel Aspinall, Madison Paranihi, 5, and Ms Aspinall’s Fraser Coast Anglican College Prep class.
NEITA-award winning teacher Rachel Aspinall, Madison Paranihi, 5, and Ms Aspinall’s Fraser Coast Anglican College Prep class. KARLEILA THOMSEN

Local wins national teaching award

BACK in the late ’80s when Rachel Aspinall migrated from England to Australia, she had to give up her job as a teacher.

There was no demand for teachers back then, but IT jobs were just taking off so Ms Aspinall decided to give that a go and made the move.

Happily for Hervey Bay’s Fraser Coast Anglican College, Ms Aspinall decided to return to teaching – and now she has been rewarded for her efforts with a National Excellence in Teaching Award.

Making the award extra special was the fact that she was nominated by her students’ parents and there was definitely more than just writing down her name involved in the nomination process.

Criteria had to be met and parents had to provide examples and information regarding why she had been nominated.

Ms Aspinall said that while receiving the award was special, her real rewards were seeing the children develop and watching their progress.

She hasn’t left her career in IT behind either, incorporating an interactive whiteboard in her teaching and including PowerPoint animations in her classes.

She also plays lots of games with her Prep students to make learning fun and looks closely at what other teachers are doing and how she can adapt it to her classroom.

Ms Aspinall said it was special to receive the award.

“It’s an absolute honour,” she said.

“It’s lovely to know the parents went to all the effort.”

Tony Wood, the principal at the school, said he was not surprised Ms Aspinall had received the award.

“She’s a good teacher – here at the College we’ve known that for five years,” he said.

“It’s really special – it’s lovely that the parents felt motivated and energised enough to nominate her.”

Mr Wood applauded Ms Aspinall for bringing IT into the classroom and said that her real gift was making sure no child, no matter what their level of ability, was left out.



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