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A Student Called “Australia” – Gabbie Stroud’s Hope for Education

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 11, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Gabbie_Stroud-187630-edited.jpgGabbie Stroud loved her job as a primary school teacher.

Eventually, what she calls the changing nature of teaching led to burn out, and her decision to leave the profession.

In an essay she wrote for the Griffith Review, she talks of her frustrations, but also of a future for education filled with hope and guided by a few dangerous ideas. 

While Gabbie is not in the classroom now, her passion for education remains strong, and she calls for things like profound commitment to teachers, trust, and renewed thinking on things like creativity, imagination and ingenuity.

And she does this for the sake of a student she calls Australia. In her essay she asks, “Who would teach her? How would she learn?" In an episode on the Learning Capacity Podcast, I continue this discussion with Gabbie as we search for the answers to some big questions.

Listen to the discussion:

SHOW NOTES

Topics covered

  1. Teaching
  2. Parents as educators of their child
  3. A vision of education
  4. Kindergarten
  5. Primary education

People mentioned

         Richard Fidler – ABC Radio

Resources/books/articles mentioned

         Teaching Australia by Gabbie Stroud: Griffiths Review

Listen to other podcast episodes on SoundCloud

Read More for the complete podcast transcript.

 

Episode 40 of The Learning Capacity Podcast

Former Teacher, Gabbie Stroud, Speaks on Improving Education

Colin Klupiec: You're listening to Learning Capacity with Colin Klupiec. This podcast is brought to you by LearnFast, improving student learning outcomes with neuroscience programs since 1999. To find out more about individual learning programs for your child, visit learnfasthome.com.au .

To subscribe to this free podcast on the web or on your mobile, visit soundcloud.com/learnfast.

Colin: Gabbie, you recently wrote an article for the Griffith Review, which, on reading, paints a complex picture of joy and fulfillment; yet you can't help notice the pain and frustration at the same time. And it also received some widespread exposure through that wonderful interview you gave with Richard Fidler on the ABC.

Now I don't want to recount the intensity of why you left teaching in our discussion today. Instead, I'd like to focus on the future, because your article talks quite a bit about a potential future.

So given that many of our listeners will be parents of primary aged children, I'd like to focus on the latter half where you talk about a student called Australia.

And you've personified Australia as a "her," and you asked, "Who would teach her and how would she learn?" I'm curious, why do you think Australia was born into your imagination?

Gabbie: I'm really grateful, Colin, that you've picked up on that, on some of those ideas that I was expressing towards the end of the essay, because I think therein lies the hope that I still have for teaching and for education.

So this idea of Australia, and of Australia being a student, sort of comes to my cheeky sense of humor, I suppose. Because each Friday, as I was leaving the staff room, I would rally the staff who were reluctant to leave and I would say come on guys, it's time for us to go and teach the youth of our nation.

And we would chuckle, because all of us knew that the last hour on a Friday was probably not going to be the week's finest hour of teaching. And it wasn't going to be the students’ finest hour of learning. Everyone's exhausted at that time, but it was an hour that you had to push through anyway.

And even though that seems like it's a really funny and light hearted comment, the idea of teaching the youth of our nation still carries really great meaning and value to me. Because it's easy to look at teaching, and I taught kindergarten for many years, and often people would say, "Why are you so busy? You just teach kindergarten."

But I would say, "Well that's why I'm so busy - because I just teach kindergarten."

This teaching that we do, it's such an important job. This idea, in my imagination, of teaching a student called Australia, brought ideas that I had that I'd love to imagine that there's a student called Australia and that we could teach her with a really light hearted sense of freedom as though our teaching doesn't matter at all.

But all the while we understand that the teaching that we're doing is perhaps the most important thing we can do for that student Australia.

Colin: Interesting that you say "with freedom," I guess that implies an experience of yours or perhaps of others where freedom is absent.

Freedom has been taken from teachers & learners

Gabbie: Yes, I think that part of the problem of primary education in Australia today is that so much freedom has been taken, not just from the teachers, but from the learners as well.

So I'm interested in reclaiming some of that for our schools and whole community. So that's the idea of Australia as a student.

And I just really think that whenever we see a class of children, we might be driving past the school or we work in a school or when we're doing the school drop-off, dropping our own kids off, you should look at those kids and think, well, that's Australia.

They've come from their parents and their history, and they're going to go forward and make the future. These are the kids that will be pushing us around in wheelchairs and governing our country when we're old and gray.

So we do need to look at education as though we're forming Australia.

Colin: Just want to pick up on the comment that people make to you when they say, "Why are you so busy, you just teach kindergarten?"

I have a kindergarten-aged child, and when I heard you say that, I kind of got that half-closed eyes reaction, because I wonder what people would say if their child was just one of those kindergarten children. How do you respond to that?

Teaching kindergarten could be one of the most important professions on the planet

Gabbie: I think I've been primed and conditioned now to choose my battles. Because for some people, their minds just aren't ready to be open to the idea that actually just teaching kindergarten could possibly be one of the most important professions on the planet.

If I think the person is open to it, I say to them, "Look, I really believe that it's incredibly important work that I'm doing, because if I can get those kindergarten children to fall in love with learning and become lifelong learners, then wow, I'm setting all of us up, our whole society, for a really great and hopeful future".

Colin: The second half of your article talks about some pretty blue sky ideas. And just three words that I've picked up on straightaway were the fact that you say we need imagination, ingenuity, and creativity. And without allowing those to just be heard as more buzz words of today, I think, on the surface, many would agree. But I think what you were suggesting was probably something a lot deeper.

Given the fact that parents will be listening to this and they might be wondering how those things can become reality, how do parents take those big ideas and encourage them at home so that they carry on into the classroom?

Gabbie: That is, again, a very good question. When I wrote the piece, I was thinking of this imagination, ingenuity, and creativity as being things that I really wanted the politicians to hear. I really wanted the people that frame our education to pick up on it, because that's fundamental to the change that's needed in education.

But I'm beginning to realise that perhaps the change that's going to happen is going to be a grassroots kind of change. And there are so many ways that parents can encourage those wonderful values in their own children and in their own home.

When I thought about this, I thought it doesn't have to be something that you lock in. It doesn't have to be, "Well, we'll spend every Thursday afternoon painting pictures, or we'll all go to the theatre on the first weekend of the month." Imagination and creativity, things like that come from the simpler things.

And it's just as simple as talking, having really good quality conversations with your kids. Asking them questions. Encouraging them to ask questions. Finding answers together and exploring ideas.

When kids tell you something, there's this unique perspective on the world and when they notice something, just taking that minute to explore it with them. Telling stories and jokes with kids, and sharing memories; having children engage in talk with their grandparents and people in the community and sharing stories.

Letting ourselves laugh with our kids. We're so busy sometimes just trying to get them out the door to school and to pick them up from school and get them to the next activity, and then throw some dinner on the table. But take a minute to laugh with them Children are so ready to laugh, and we should let them take us there with them on those little journeys of laughter and comedy.

Colin: I'm hearing a fairly strong message about language coming out when you say that people should be talking with their children, sharing stories, laughing. A very strong language and communication message. Do we not talk to our kids enough?

Talk to our children more so they develop mastery of language

Gabbie: I don't have any evidence to back up this claim, but what I'm going to say is that during the 15 years that I was teaching, I spent a lot of that time in the junior years, so kindergarten or prep, year one, year two. I saw a huge decline in the verbal ability of the students that were coming into school.

So not just speech impediment, being born with a cleft palate or something that would affect their production of speech and sound, but their lack of vocabulary, their inability to even comprehend a joke, to understand the small nuances of the play on words, to pick up on double meanings of the words, to be able to engage in conversations, to be able to request to go to the toilet, things like that.They aren't coming to school with that same mastery of language.

So I do believe that talking with our children is one of the most important things that we can be doing, particularly at that primary school age when they still want to talk to us, before they become teenagers and just want to grunt at us.

Imagination, ingenuity, and creativity

Colin: Coming back to those three big words -- imagination, ingenuity, and creativity -- I mean, they're good vocabulary words to be teaching our young children anyway. If we find, as parents, that this kind of thing isn't happening in school or not being talked about in school, either through the work that's coming back with our kids or information evenings that we go to, should parents, in your experience being a teacher and having to talk to parents, would you, in your position, have appreciated parents coming and talking to you about that?

Should parents talk to the school if they feel this sort of thing is important but it's not happening 

The parent is the first educator of their child

Gabbie: Yes, absolutely. I'm a real, 100%, passionate advocate of this idea of the parent being the first educator of their child, and your one of their lifelong educators. You will bear witness to their education from kinder through high school, and then you take on to tertiary education.

So I really would like to see parents stop apologising when they walk through the classroom door.

I'd love them just to walk in, thank the teacher for their time, but to know they play an important role themselves as an educator. So they need to be going in and letting teachers know that yes, they're on board and they're invested in their child's education.

Colin: So that's your perspective, in terms of how you would like to receive parents into your classroom. I can imagine that some teachers may find that a little bit confronting.

Gabbie: Yeah, a lot of teachers do. And this is part of the broader paradigm shift that I think is needed in terms of how we look at and think about education. I'm all for teachers making a few changes as well as all the other stakeholders in education.

I think that as a parent, if you're going to be effective in your communication with the teacher though, when you do go into that classroom, you need to be really mindful of a few things:

  • Don't bother teachers a few minutes before class goes in
  • And try not to nab them the very moment they step out of the classroom
  • It's really wonderful if parents can make an appointment to see a teacher -that just shows such a respect for the teacher's time and it's the professional thing to do

The other thing, I think, parents need to be mindful that teachers really do feel, at the moment, that they're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I think they'd like nothing better than to have more freedom and to provide more creative lessons and more imaginative opportunities for their students, but they're trying to race through a curriculum that they're mandated to implement.

So sometimes, even though you've expressed your feelings about what you'd like to see going on in the classroom, you may have to just wait a while until the teacher can get to those activities, because they are trying to work through a program.

And the other thing is teachers are professionals, so it's not nice being told how to do your job. So if you're going in to speak to a teacher, say what you want to say as a suggestion and then offer the teacher the support that's needed for that suggestion to come through.

An example from my own life, I had a parent come in helping with reading, and she really gently said to me, "Gabbie, I notice you don't do a lot of art with the kids." And I said, "No, art's not my strongest point. I struggle with it." and she said, "I'm an artist, let me come in and do some clay work." Well, problem solved, and it was amazing what the students produced.

I learned so much. It was really what learning should be all about. It was wonderful, students saw me become a learner. The child whose parent it was, he got to see his mom as a teacher, in a formal capacity. It was just wonderful.

So as a parent, if you have a great idea for how that could be opened up, suggest that, and provide the teacher with support for it, and then just wait. There may be some hoops and procedures that a teacher has to jump through to get that wonderful idea put in place.

There is pent up pressure in the system - we need to listen to teachers

Colin: I guess what I'm picking up here is that there is almost like a pent up pressure in the system, that if someone were to come in and even suggest or even remotely suggest, "I'm telling you how to do your job," that that would just release a pressure valve of anger and frustration.

And on the same side, a parent comes in and says, "Well, I think you should do this," or "I'm suggesting this," because I've got 1 or 2 children, not realising that the teacher might have 20 or 30, who are all different of course.

Gabbie: Yes, that's right. And as a teacher sometimes too, you hear from these parents and you think, "Well, yeah, I've got that scheduled in, in week nine or whatever." Like sometimes, there's that sense of "Just let me do my job, have trust and have faith in me." It is, as you said at the beginning, Colin, it's such a complex, complex thing, this business of learning and teaching well.

Colin: You mention in your article that what we need, looking forward again, looking at the forward looking aspects of your article. You talk of a profound commitment to our teachers. Commitment from whom?

Gabbie: I would like to see a profound commitment to teachers from our politicians, because unfortunately, in Australia, education is married to politics, and until that can change, we need strong, profound, heartfelt commitment from our politicians.

We need it from our school managers, so that might be from principals or system coordinators, departments. We need it from our parents. And that commitment needs to be to value our teachers, to value their professionalism, to value their well-being, to respect their judgement, and to listen to teachers.

That's something that so many people have said to me, in the follow-up of my article being published, is, "Ah, finally, someone is saying what we so long wanted to say." All these teachers are saying, "Thank you, Gabbie. Thank you for saying what you've said." So I really think that teachers feel like they don't have a very strong voice out there.

I think listening to teachers is something that we need a profound commitment to.

The parent-teacher night is becoming outmoded

Colin: Sounds to me like the model of the parent-teacher day or parent-teacher night, however the school likes to do it, is starting to become a little bit outmoded. It's kind of running out of time. What I'm hearing here is that you're suggesting a much deeper and ongoing communication between parent and teacher, something that a parent-teacher night once or twice a year just won't do.

Gabbie: Absolutely. I do. And like I said, my vision of education in Australia isn't orthodox and it's quite different from what actually is, so it does seem different to the models and the structures that we're used to. I really think that it's time now for parents and teachers to be having some really honest conversations about how the child is learning. I think parents need to recognise themselves as their child's teacher and embrace that responsibility.

And I really think that teachers will get so much from parents who come in and tell them what's working. Like when a parent comes in, the first thing you sort of think, as a teacher, is "Oh no, something's wrong. Here comes a problem." And it would be so lovely to see a parent come in and sort of think "Well, I don't know which way this is going to go," because I get 50/50.

I get people coming in with suggestions and comments but I also get parent's coming in telling me great things that are happening at home. That kind of gist of conversation would be so mutually beneficial.

Teachers are burdened with this workload of recognising every student as an individual, differentiating the curriculum, catering to all of them, and parents want that. Teachers are so under the pump to try and achieve that.

And yet us parents are in a partnership, in coming in, and that parent-teacher meeting is about some time where we set goals and really make those very specific and something that we can come back to.That then becomes something we dialog about. It's going to be just so powerful.

I think that's actually going to liberate a lot of teachers as well.

If you, as a parent, go in and say, "I want you to know that I'm not too fussed about his or her results," or "I'm not too fussed about the standard delivery of the curriculum. I really want my child to socialise well or to learn how to apply effort, or to not be so lazy, or to cooperate."

If a parent comes in and tells me, "I have so much trouble getting my kid ready in the morning for school," to me, I'm like, "Okay, well, there's a skill we need to be working on." Teaching our kids is so much more than just going back to basics.

Learning for the joy of it and not for the test of it

Colin:  Here's a question for you. You mentioned students learning for the joy of it and not for the test of it. Let's say that there's a parent out there who agrees with this statement. Have you ever had a parent come in and say, "You know what, Gabbie, I really just hope that my kid is learning for the joy of it and not for the test of it?"

Gabbie: I have had parents express that. I've had many parents come in and express that. I've had more parents come in and... I've counseled parents, they come in crying and it's never been about, "Oh my child's stuck on reader level number six." It's been, "My child feels like they don't have friends. How can we address that?" I think that parents are really more about the higher ideals of learning than the detail components of data.

And I just love it when a parent comes in and says to me, whether their kid is on reader level 6 or 16, and say to me, "He couldn't wait to get his readers out last night. We had such a great time reading."

So many people are lighting up in that experience -- I am, as a teacher; the child is, as a reader; and the parent is, as a partner in that child's learning.

If we make people feel joyful about their learning and to know that learning is a rich and challenging experience, then we're doing good things for society. We're doing good things for their future, and for this idea of Australia, this future Australia that I think about 

Colin: So this is interesting, because you say that you've had a lot of parents come to you and talk about their children learning for the joy of it, not so much for the test of it. Let's just expand this out now and just imagine that there are lots of you in the system, and I'm sure there are.

Imagine that lots of you are having lots of parents telling you this so that this message is effectively being multiplied. It's interesting that that might seem at odds with the way politics is saying, "No, NAPLANs are really important. We need to increase our NAPLAN results."

On one hand, you've got parents saying, "No, actually, I just want my child to be happy at school and be doing well," but on the other side, you've got the government saying, "No, we really want NAPLAN to be doing well." Those two things aren't really the same. And before you were talking about a grassroots thing. So how do we get the parents to make their voice heard a little bit better?

Gabbie: That's the million-dollar question Colin. I'm not sure. I'm not sure how parents are going to do this. I think it's going to come from being persistent. I think it's going to come by parents being critical thinkers, just as they want their children to be.And I think it's going to come from parents looking at the media, and then asking themselves, "Well, hang on a minute," because part of the problemis NAPLAN and any other standardised tests.

But I think the thing that's neglected there is what I talk about as the art and the science of teaching, and I think to the art and science of learning.

So politicians would argue that we need NAPLAN because otherwise, how are we going to measure,? How are we going to know that we're doing all these great things in Australian classrooms? So there stands that argument. My response to that is but if we only focus on that then we're not seeing the art that's going on within our schools.

And by the art, I mean that quality delivery of curriculum, those relationships that teachers are forming, that sense of community that schools are evolving, those lifelong learners that we're producing, that joy-filled learning that students are experiencing, that sense of partnership that parents are noticing.

You can't put a number on that. No NAPLAN test can test that, and yet that's the heart of what we do as teachers and that's the heart of what learners experience as our students 

Dangerous "what if" questions

Colin: I think we might be getting close to the end part of your article where you start to talk about the dangerous "what ifs" in the thing that you've just been talking about. You ask a lot of "what if" type questions and you say that they're dangerous. I chuckled when I read that, and I thought, "Well, why are they dangerous?"

Gabbie: So "what if" is a wonderful question that teachers know to ask their students. What if we did this instead of that? Or what if we substituted this character for that character? It's a really powerful question. It gets people thinking. When I ask the "what ifs," I consider them to be dangerous, because there are so many stakeholders in education.

There are the students, the teachers, the parents, the principals, the curriculum writers, the administrators, governing bodies, politicians, and every one of those stakeholders believe that they have the answer.

So when you ask "what if", it's almost impossible to unite all those stakeholders in a unified answer that will move us forward.

The old industrial model of schooling

But there's another reason why the what ifs are dangerous. And that's because even though I can sit here and say in the 15 years I've been teaching, teaching has really changed, there's a flip side to that. An that is actually that the fundamental model of Australian education system that we work in has not changed at all.

So we are still functioning on this old industrial model, where we go to school, we learn, and we do that so that we can work, and then we work to make money, and then the cycle continues. But I want to question that idea, that paradigm of this industrial model of schooling, and if it's still serving our needs and if it's really creating and developing these young Australians.

So questioning this really long-held paradigm actually makes people feel uncomfortable, because for so long, we've worked with this industrial model. People actually find it difficult to imagine a new possibility. They think "Well, what will school look like then, and what will we be learning about then?"

It makes people feel scared. They feel uncomfortable and unsure of themselves. So that's why I think my "what if" questions are actually a little bit dangerous.

Colin: Is it a question of trust? Do you think we trust our teachers?

We've lost trust in our teachers

Gabbie: I think that we've actually lost trust in our teachers. I think that this teacher accountability that has come in has actually crippled the quality of teaching that teachers are able to deliver, and it's debilitated the working lives of teachers.

Teachers now, they're not trusted to the point that, you know, I have to document every time I gave a child a Band-Aid, and in kindergarten, that's a lot, because kids love nothing more than listening to a story and picking the scab off their knee. There's blood trickling down their shin, and you can't just hand them a Band-Aid. You have to sign a form, and that just debilitates you as a teacher.

On that afternoon, when you're trying to do your lesson, and you're in the moment, and the simple thing would be just hand them a Band-Aid and move on, but then you've got to stop and do paperwork, you just think, "No one trusts me anymore. I can't even be trusted to be with this child who picks the scab on their knee."

Teachers have to document everything they teach before they're going to teach it. Then they have to collect evidence to show that they've taught what they said they were going to teach. And then they have to evaluate everything that they've taught. And then along with this, they've got to evaluate and assess every student and how they're progressing, and then record that in endless and varied ways so that all that data can be turned in to something that can be quantified.

And then, on top of that, teachers are now being asked to go through professional teaching standards. And while that sounds great in theory, it sounds like something that professionals in a career should have to do, it's actually the way it's been implemented, it's just another hoop-jumping process.

So teachers are again, taken away from their focus, which should be the learner, and instead, they've got to focus on their own performance. They've got to set goals. They've got to create paperwork. They've got to evaluate their goals and reflect on that, and they've got to collect data for that. It just becomes these endless cycles of red tape and documentation.

Everything, from what you're going to teach, then your own professional teaching standards, the administration of a Band-Aid, everything. It's just constantly a cycle of documentation.So all of that has left teachers feeling like they have no power. And when I say power, I mean they've got no autonomy. No one trusts them. So we've just got to record everything that we do because we're no longer considered professionals and our professional judgement isn't valued.

Are we more interested in the data than the student?

Colin: You talk a lot about the data that's being collected, both in terms of what we plan to teach, what we then do actually teach, and the evaluations we have to document that as well, and it's just data upon data upon data. The beginning of your essay, you talk about some student profiles. Like you say, this is so and so and her family is going through this. And this is this young boy and he's struggling with this and that.

And for those listeners who haven't read that, I strongly encourage you to find that article in the Griffith Review and have a read of that, because it's a very powerful opening.

We talk a lot about data, and yet in most schools you might have one or a part time counselor. I mean is that in itself an indication that we're so much more interested in the data then the person?

Gabbie: Yes, it is. There's that old saying, "Where attention goes, your energy flows." So all of our attention is going into data, assessing, have they learned, how much have they learned, is it up on last year's numbers? Graph it, put it in a spreadsheet, put it in a table.

And yet that's taking away from these little people, these kids who are 5 through to 12 years old, who have needs, desires, hopes, dreams, and some of them are struggling.

Some of them are going through experiences in their families, in their home life, just within themselves as they evolve as people, and they need the support of trusted adults to get them through that.

Now as the teacher, I can try but I know that I can't deliver that to every child. I'm not even qualified to do that, but a counselor is. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our attention went on to maintaining and supporting our students and their health and well-being by implementing full time counselors in our schools.

So that we could see students starting to, at a young age, be able to manage their mental health, to have strategies for the varied feelings that they have, that we could value that as much as we value their performance on a test.

We would've evolved so much if we could arrive at that kind of place.

A team of counsellors in every school

Colin: That sounds like a fairly dangerous and large "what if" question. What if we actually had a team of counselors for every school?

Gabbie: Yes. And the question that comes hot on the heels of that is why not? Why don't we? And then when I hear excuses like it comes down to funding, and it comes down to money and things like that, then I start going what if?

What if we shifted some of the expense that we're putting on NAPLAN and maintaining my school's website? What if we shifted some of that? I'm a dangerous thinker, Colin. I make people feel very uncomfortable.

Colin: Gosh, shifting funds from NAPLAN, you're going to make a few people uncomfortable about that .

Gabbie: Yes, I am, I certainly am.

Colin: And having a team of counselors, I can almost see the accountants of school boards all over the place just screeching in horror. How will we pay for that?

Gabbie: Absolutely, I know, I know. And as you said earlier, this is the blue sky dreaming that we need to be doing because the only thing that's stopping this from happening is the people that I call "bean counters" who say we don't have enough money to do it.

I know and I believe that in Australia, we do have a wonderful group of people who are trained in that professional counseling and psychological area who could offer wonderful things to our school, our students, even teachers.

There are teachers out there who need someone to debrief with, someone to talk to at the end of the day when this little one has come up and made a disclosure that they've had to report.

That's hard on a teacher too. Who's supporting that teacher and providing for their well-being so they can come back next week and do it all again? These are the things that I believe we should be focusing on.

Colin: So let's say there's a parent out there, or let's say there are many parents out there listening to this thinking, "Yup, look, this totally resonates with me, and I really feel that I should do something about it." But maybe they've got some what if questions in their mind, and they say, "Yeah, well, actually, I think they're dangerous," and they're thinking that their own what ifs are dangerous, they might be unsure about how to start.

They might even be a little bit afraid to do so. The thought of talking to the principal or talking to the teacher or anything like that might be a little bit scary. What would you say to them?

Gabbie: I would remind that parent that they are the lifelong educator of their child and I'd say to them, I'd let them in on a little secret, which is something that good teachers do, and that secret is that good teachers meet their learners at their point of need. So a good teacher doesn't just pitch the lesson out there and hope for the best. They sprinkle it out like its fertilizer.

A good teacher looks at: where is this child at, what do they know now and what do I need to share with them to get them to move to the next point? So parents can do that as well.

So I'd like to see parents not get hung up on, "Oh, if I do some work at home with my kid or if I want to engage in creative pursuits with my child, am I doing it right? Is this going to be different to what the teacher told me?"

No, don't get hung up on any of that. Meet your child at their point of need and trust this idea that learning is innate to human beings. We're designed and we're built to learn.

And kids will learn despite their teachers and despite their parents. It's actually a really organic and simple process. So that's what I'd be telling parents is just work with your kids. Start by talking to your child. Find out what they're interested in and just engage them. From there, I think that naturally, you'll see your child learn, you'll feel empowered.

Then you might feel ready to go into the classroom and have a conversation about things you're noticing about your child as a learner or those wonderful ideas might develop when you recognise something in yourself that you can go and share, not just with your child, but with your child's class.

I think that parents can teach their own children so much that teachers don't have time to teach. They can teach them emotional intelligence. They can teach them social responsibilities. They can teach them all the things that they value themselves. Parents can foster this in their own child. It's such a beautiful privilege.

It's a joy to be a parent and to watch your own child grow. And parents should feel a freedom to invest in that because they are that lifelong and first teacher of their child.

Colin: Gabbie, your ongoing passion is an inspiration. It's been great talking with you.

Gabbie: Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Colin: You've been listening to Learning Capacity with Colin Klupiec, brought to you by LearnFast. If you'd like to learn more about LearnFast, visit learnfasthome.com.au and if you'd like to comment on this podcast you can send us an email to feedback@learnfastgroup.com.au. I'm Colin Klupiec, until next time, bye for now.

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