Twinning Teachers Equals Happy Kids

MAKING learning fun is all in a day’s work for two Brisbane Adventist College Year 4 teachers.

Rebecca Mead and Chantelle Ugljesa, who are not only colleagues but friends outside of school, do everything together to show students the benefits of working as team.

At school they often wear matching outfits, which delights their students when they act like it wasn’t on purpose, and when it comes to their teaching they also show a united front.

The ladies bounce new teaching ideas and practices off each other, share resources and plan fun activities for their students together and their classrooms are also decorated in identical Explore in Year 4 themes.

[Photo: by Sarah Marshall]

After successfully collaborating last year, the teaching duo is looking for new and exciting ways to up the ante this year.

“If students feel comfortable, safe, heard, inspired and loved in their classes, they are more eager to learn,” Miss Ugljesa said.

“We want them to enjoy coming to school and to thrive.

“Improved outcomes and a passion for learning is what we’re all about,” Mrs Mead added.

“In our classrooms ‘FAIL’ is a word we find useful. Kids should feel comfortable making mistakes during the ‘First Attempt In Learning’ because it’s all part of the education journey.”

[Photo: by Sarah Marshall]

The twinning teachers use the same classroom management strategies, their programming is the same, they take their favourite specialist subjects for both Year 4 classes (Mrs Mead -visual art, and Miss Ugljesa — history), and they both stay in close contact with parents about students and daily classroom activities.

“She can be funny, she’s strict, she’s kind,” one student said of Miss Ugljesa.

“She’s amazing! She give us hints sometimes and it’s really obvious because she goes wink-wink! “I love the clothes she wears,” another student recalled of Mrs Mead.

Principal Leanne Entermann said she was proud of the great work her staff did to make learning fun.

“Around the school these teachers might be most recognised for their matching outfits, but there is so much more that they bring to the classroom through their collaborative and consistent approach,” she said.

“The way they blend academic and social-emotional learning helps students become confident, active ‘citizens’ of the school; working together respectfully, listening to others and better understanding themselves and those around them. This always leads to better student outcomes.”