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Karlie Russell - Teacher, Monash School


Tell us about your job. What does a typical day look like?

This year I am part of the Response to Improvements team. This means I work with a range of students who need extra support in specific areas and I also work with enrichment groups to extend those students who need more of a challenge. Each day looks different as I am busily moving from one end of the school to the next to work with groups of students from all year levels.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love watching students learn. It’s really empowering to see students have those ‘a-ha!’ moments or tell me things are starting to make sense.

What drew you to teaching initially? What inspired you to become a teacher?

I have always been creative, and I saw teaching to be creative in many ways. I am also a people person and love to support everyone to become the best they can be.

What motivates you in your career?

I never stop learning. I am so motivated by current research and implementing best practice strategies into my teaching. I am so lucky to work alongside amazing people who share their knowledge and skills with me constantly. I become a better teacher every day of my career.

Do you have any exciting goals or projects you are working towards?

In my current role, I am aiming to have a high percentage of students reach grade level benchmarks by the end of the year. My career goal is working towards becoming a Highly Accomplished Teacher in the next couple of years.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t always do things because it’s the way it’s been done. Always challenge yourself and ideas, and base what you do on best practice.

What is something about your work people may not realise?

How amazing it is to work as part of a professional learning community. In my role, I work with so many students and teachers and this is made possible through the collaborative approach we have at Monash School. Teachers are happy to share ideas and support others to implement new strategies into their repertoire of skills. I talk to teachers about their planning and assessment regularly to work out where students are at and what students are learning in class to know how to support them in my role.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt throughout your career?

How to switch off from school and enjoy my family life. It is a skill that I really struggled with as an early career teacher but as the years have gone on, I have worked out how to have some balance.

What makes teaching in Canberra public schools great?

We have access to quality professional learning to help us learn from experts in the field and throughout the network. I know teachers across the system, and all of them work so incredibly hard to inspire students through learning. I love seeing schools work together to offer students more opportunities like the enrichment days shared by Tuggeranong schools.