Happy Teachers, Happy Kids

Whenever Brisbane Adventist College teachers Chantelle Ugljesa and Rebecca Mead dress in the same outfit for the day, students always ask, “Do you know that you’re wearing the same clothes?” 

The fun-loving Year 4 teachers say, “Wow! REALLY?!”

Friends outside of school as well, they teach collaboratively. This includes bouncing new teaching ideas and practices off each other, sharing resources and, most of all, planning fun activities together.

Their classrooms are decorated in identical ‘Explore in Year 4’ themes, they 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. 

"We love using our College environment and the Year 4 curriculum really lends itself to us being outside, together exploring God's creation," says Rebecca Mead.

The plan is, once the Year 4s are settled into their new classroom procedures for the year they will team-teach more for subjects like Design and Technology, Geography, Maths and English. They will also go on excursions together and join forces for theme days like Term 1’s Frozen Friday (i.e. iceblocks during end-of-week tests), Term 2’s Shoe-day Tuesday (i.e. taking shoes off in class), Term 3’s Milo Monday (i.e. winter hot chocolates) and Term 4’s Wiggle Wednesday (i.e. getting active with Zumba and aerobics for short brain breaks). 

This is not the first year that the duo have collaborated, but it does get more elaborate each year. Students from last year enjoyed their unique approach, too, and had lots to say about it on World Teachers’ Day. (Click for Facebook video here.)

According to Chantelle Ugljesa, if students feel comfortable, safe, heard, inspired and loved in their classes, they are more eager to learn. 

“We want them to enjoy coming to school, and to absolutely thrive!” she says.    

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

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

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

“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.”