From one passionate educationist about another…
I want to introduce you to Samantha. From the moment I laid eyes on her, walking in to our first day back at work, I was captivated by a beautiful, clean, smiling face. One of those faces that lit up the room and rained enthusiasm on those around them. A truly positive, engaging and welcoming human. I witnessed this same spirit at work in her classroom, as each child was carefully considered for who they were and for who they could become.
Teaching in distance education is extremely challenging and a mind that can problem solve well outside the box. The school Samantha and I were teaching at together was/is focused on highly individualised and personalised ubiquitous learning.
I had a very unique position in that I had been a supervisor of my own children who were educated through the school, and a teacher within it. The two hats gave me many insights that informed my practice. Working beside Samantha, I could see that she ‘got’ the needs of the supervisor, the family and their learning context. I heard her positively yet tenaciously present relevant learning in creative and fun ways; with a repeated mantra that her students could all reach for the stars to achieve high standards. I listened while students were taken step by step from the ‘I can’t do this’ to the ‘I just did!’ and found myself laughing quietly as Samantha would jump for joy at the achievement, almost dancing as she celebrated the achievement with each child. The celebration was continued when a lesson was complete as she would loudly ‘whoop’ with excitement from her classroom space. No student could ever tell Samantha that they were not capable. She found a way to make it so.
While I was a seasoned teacher, I learnt so much from Samantha. She reminded me of the nobility of my calling. She upheld every life that was entrusted into her hands and refused to stop until she felt her job had been done. Even when she reached this point, it was only to draw breath and set the next learning goal, throwing herself at finding a way to enable the student to reach what could have been seen as impossible.
As a professional, Samantha never stopped looking to learn, to improve and to grow. She saw every teacher as a rich resource that she could glean from. Her tenacity never ceased. I was so inspired. I will always be grateful for what she brought to my attention as an educator – that every child is unique and valuable and can achieve at a very high level.
Tikvah Education Australia – HoTLaNe Academy & School of Wanderers
Samantha Joy Patrick is the Founder CEO of Tikvah Education Australia and its services, the HoTLaNe Academy & School of Wanderers. Samantha is passionate about providing educational support to children and youth who experience significant educational disadvantage. The HoTLaNe Academy and School of Wanderers are free services. They are funded through community and corporate donations, as well as through Tikvah Education Australia’s investment initiatives.