Meet The Staff – Michael Kirk Years 3 & 4 Teacher

18 March, 2020

This month I’d like to introduce you to our Stage 2 Teacher (Years 3 & 4) Mr. Michael Kirk.

Which nation are you from?

Gamilaraay and Ngarabul Nations.

What’s your role at Gawura?
I’m the Stage 2 teacher here – I teach years 3 and 4. I’m finding it really, really good so far. The small classes make it really easy to get round all the pupils and make sure we get that one on one time.

What attracted you to this job?

I was originally a casual teacher at SACS and Gawura and was lucky enough to be offered the full time Stage 2 position when it came up. So I already knew the children, the other staff and how well the school worked. It’s been really good.

What does your typical day look like?

It’s very busy. We start off with an hour of English; it could be spelling, reading, grammar or handwriting. Then we cover the other subjects through the rest of the day – math. In the afternoon the kids split up and go into their buddy classes in SACS for science, art and music. This gives me the chance to spend even more one on one time with either year 3 or year 4. 

When did you start here?

I started fulltime at the end of 2018.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love interacting with the children. I like that we’re setting them up with skills that they’ll take through schooling and beyond. We work on character strengths and wellbeing as well as academic goals.

What were you like at school?

I won’t say I was a good kid because I’d be lying, I wasn’t. How they actually put up with me for so long I don’t know. I grew up in south Moree; there was a high Aboriginal population and low SES. But, through all of that there were some very strong women who were teachers that took the time to ask me “Why are you doing this?” because I think they could see I had the ability to do more. They took the time out to really invest in me and what they wanted me to achieve.

I moved to Glen Innes at the age of 13 and I attended Glen Innes High.  I was really valued there as a student. Even though there were only 50 Aboriginal students in the school, Aboriginal education was really valued.

Who was your hero growing up?

I had a few heroes growing up. I come from a very close family and it really was the women in the family who paved the way. My parents, grand parents and my Aunties didn’t have the opportunities I’ve had, like going to university. My grandparents always valued education as a way of moving forward and going on to a better life. That’s what they believed and that’s what I ended up believing so I went on to uni to study education.

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