As we reflect on all the amazing efforts of our teachers, MultiLit Senior Tutor Gareth Chandler shares his thoughts.
What do you like most about teaching?
Gareth: Seeing the confidence, fluency and enthusiasm rising in a student’s reading is what motivates me the most in my teaching of literacy. Many of our students arrive at the MultiLit Literacy Centre at a low ebb in terms of their capability and enjoyment of their reading, because circumstances surrounding their learning and beyond their control have impacted their progress.
Whilst each student may progress at different rates, by the end of their time with us I always find it fantastic to look back to compare where they started with where they are now and show them and their parents how far they have come.
Was there a particular teacher who made an impression on you during your schooling?
Gareth: My HSC Modern History teacher is probably the teacher I look back on that had the most impact on both my results and interest in a subject. She would go above and beyond to give us all the information we needed, not only in terms of content, but most importantly how to craft a response to an assessment or exam question. Even though she was a classroom teacher, her approach was almost like that of an individual tutor because she would tailor her feedback to each student and genuinely seemed to care about making sure each of us performed to the best of our ability. She would always try to bring each topic to life and was one of the few teachers who began to treat us like young adults and encourage group discussion of the political and social issues surrounding the historical events we were studying.
What's something you wish more people knew about literacy?
Gareth: I wish more people knew that many students do not automatically learn to read if you simply surround them with books and read to them before their formal schooling begins. To many students, reading does not come easily — especially in a busy classroom environment. It is imperative that each child receives the foundations of literacy taught to them in a systematic way, that will give them the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential.