In 2017 I graduated from Flinders University with a double degree in Early Childhood Education and the Arts, majoring in Visual Art and minoring in Creative Writing. Whilst studying at Flinders University, I was awarded the Staff Prize in English and received multiple letters of commendation from the Chancellor for academic excellence. In 2014, I was also invited to become a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, which is a not for profit organisation dedicated to recognising and supporting high scholastic achievement.
As an identified gifted learner, I am passionate about Gifted Education. In 2018, whilst working as a relief teacher, I undertook a Master of Gifted Education through the University of New South Wales. With full-time study loading and teaching relief work, I was able to compete this course within one academic year. I have been awarded this degree with Honours of Excellence, which recognises outstanding academic achievement in all coursework. During my study, I was privileged to join Dara School for Term 3, as the Art teacher. This was challenging and brilliant and I adored the opportunity to work with gifted children, particularly in the creative area of Art. Working and studying simultaneously also enabled me to expand the theoretical concepts from my degree into practical applications within the classroom.
Joining Dara School is the manifestation of a dream I have harboured since childhood. In this dream, gifted students have a space where they are challenged, nurtured and supported on a daily basis. In this dream, gifted students do not feel alone. Now, as a Gifted Education teacher, I agree wholeheartedly with the eminent educational researcher, Stephanie Tolan’s following insights. Gifted Education is a fundamental right. A right that is often discussed in the sense of ‘one day’, and ‘working towards,’ a dim and distant ideal. Working at Dara means achieving that future now. We are supporting gifted learners here and now. I feel proud to be a teacher at Dara School.
In time to come, I hope to continue researching Gifted Education, in order to contribute to the field and further our cause for equitable opportunities for gifted students. In the daily work with Dara School students I often become reminded of a quote from Stephanie Tolan, who succinctly speaks to our professional justification for Dara School’s educational mission:
“You don’t have the moral right to hold one child back to make another child feel better.”