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Posted by SASTA

on 05/03/2024

Sarah Todd was our Primary 2023 Credit Union SA / SASTA Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of Science Award Winner. We asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better and share what inspires her as a teacher!

What inspired you to become a science teacher?

I've always had a love of the natural world, but when I left school I couldn't pin point one career... I spent a few weeks doing work experience at the zoo, studied at TAFE to be a vet nurse then spent a few years looking after animals as an animal technician... I then went back to study. I had my own children by this time and becoming a teacher sounded perfect.  I think it was the opportunity to give young people experiences to help them grow, encourage their natural curiosity and inspire them to have a love of science!

How do you keep your teaching methods fresh and engaging year after year to inspire your students?

Being an active member of the Mitcham Hills Science hub and meeting termly gives science teachers within our partnership the opportunity to network and share best teaching practice.  SASTA offers the opportunity for networking through the annual conference, judging the OSA and assisting at Science Alive.  This gives me inspiration for the following years entries.  Our school is also partnered with a STEM Professional in Schools scientist, which engages our students in current scientific research and valuable conversations.

If you could travel back in time and attend any scientific discovery or experiment in history, which one would it be, and why?

Turn back time to 1831, I would have loved to be on the Voyage of the Beagle with Charles Darwin.  I would have loved to visit the Galapagos and spent days, months, years observing and documenting animal behaviour... Learning the art of scientific illustration, collecting evidence and documenting... Amazing.  The Galapagos is on my bucket list of "one day" adventures!

What's the best piece of advice you've received or given as a science teacher that has had a lasting impact on your career?

Be kind to yourself, no body expects you to be perfect and know everything, all of the time.  Be your best, and show your students that you're human. Ask for help if you need it and don't be afraid to share your success and failures.

If you were to sum up your teaching philosophy in one sentence, what would it be?

Stay curious, keep asking questions, make changes and take risks and love learning!

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