Sitting down with Mr Henderson | Coomera Anglican College

Sitting down with Mr Henderson

We sit down with Year 4 teacher, Mr Henderson (or Mr H as we like to call him) from our Primary Campus. Mr H has taught across a number of different year levels at the College, and we asked him about why he enjoys teaching and working for Coomera Anglican College. 

Q: Firstly, I’d love for you to tell us about yourself and your background! 

A: Originally, I am from Wellington, New Zealand. Though I spent my schooling years in Sydney. I have a background in Human Resources and preschool sports. Prior to starting my teaching role at CAC, I owned two franchises in Ready Steady Go Kids in the Castle Hill and Thornleigh regions in Sydney. We ran this for four years before I started to feel like I wanted more out of my career.

I looked into teaching and fast forward six years, here I am, and I love it. I will be forever grateful for taking the plunge into running a business as it brought me to teaching and Coomera Anglican College. 

We moved to the Gold Coast in January of 2017 and love our life here on the coast. We have two children both enrolled at CAC, Amelie in Year 4 and Mateo in Year 1. We feel very blessed to be living on the Gold Coast and raising our children in such a fantastic community. 

Q: How long have you been teaching at Coomera Anglican College? 

A: This is my seventh year at Coomera Anglican College, primarily in the lower years of Primary.

Q: What is your favourite aspect of teaching?

A: I love that every day is different, every child brings something unique to the classroom and this makes for a fascinating experience each day. Our teaching team is amazing; bringing such a wide variety of life experiences, teaching pedagogies and a love of making that positive impact in the lives of young children. 

Q: Favourite subject to teach and why?

A: My favourite subject to teach is Maths. I really struggled at school in this area, and it wasn’t until I was an adult that numbers really clicked with me. I love teaching the different strategies that align with the different learning needs of the students. I also have a passion for teaching life skills in communication, behaviour management and all things that assist in developing self-awareness in the individual. 

Q: If we were to sit in a class, what would our experience be? What is your teaching style ?

A: I would hope you would feel a sense of belonging, that we are in this together and you had a teacher that would always be there for you. I don’t know if there is a label for my style, but I want my classroom to be one that is comfortable, not in the sense of sitting down and feeling comfortable, but in the sense that I foster an appreciation that we are all different and unique and this is cool. Have a go, make mistakes, and share your ideas and thoughts, again…we are in this together. We have a saying in our classroom “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” 

Q: What are some of the different trends you have seen over the time you’ve spent at the College? 

A: In a busy curriculum, we are constantly evaluating how we can go deeper into our teaching. Moving to an Inquiry Based model of teaching has assisted in this trend. Taking the teaching outside of textbooks and worksheets is allowing students to guide their own learning and have the freedom to ask more questions and then answer them through various forms of research and discovery.

I would hope you would feel a sense of belonging, that we are in this together and you had a teacher that would always be there for you.

Q: How do you leverage technology in your teaching and has it been difficult to embrace this in the classroom?

A: I believe there is a fine line between developing fine motor classroom skills that we have traditionally seen in classrooms, and the use of technology as these skills can essentially be done all online. They both have their place in classrooms and I believe we have a good balance of these at our College. The use of our SMART Boards in each classroom are a fantastic tool to enhance learning, along with laptops, iPads, robots, coding and buildings like The Pod.

Q: How would children feel being in your classroom?

A: I would like to think that students in my classroom (or any child that I interact with during my working day) would feel safe, encouraged and feel comfortable in being themselves. I hope they are developing a love of school and learning…including a love of discovery through our time together that extends beyond the concepts and teachings in the classroom, a self-discovery into themselves and friendships. Finally, I would hope they say that they wanted to come to school every day just in case they missed out on something incredible.

Q: If you had an endless amount of money to spend on educational resources within the classroom, what would you spend it on and why? 

A: We can never underestimate the incredible support of our Teacher Assistants to a classroom and students. Our assistants are a tremendous resource and play a key role across all areas of our College. Within the classroom, I would research and invest in flexible seating options and working areas that cater for and enhance student learning. Classroom designs might take a different shape and look completely different in the future to what we know currently.