Early Career Teacher Award
The Early Career Teacher Award is designed to recognise the significant contribution made by an early career teacher who has promoted active and healthy lifestyles through quality teaching practices with the school community.
Winner: James O'Gorman, Mount Alvernia College, Kedron
James is an important member of the HPE team at Mount Alvernia College. He completed his pre-service teacher training at the College where he demonstrated a genuine commitment to the profession. His high-quality teaching practices along with his passion for extracurricular, gained him his first full-time teaching position in 2020.
It was early in his pre-service teaching, James displayed a broad understanding of the professional standards for teachers, especially the three domains of teaching. His greatest asset is his ability to connect with students; he understands the cognitive development of adolescents and what is important to them and what motivates them to learn. He focuses on building connections based on trust, support, and high expectations both in and out of the classroom. Observing James’ lessons you see a true passion for the subject and a respect for the learner; he is dynamic, interactive, engaging, flexible and brings a sense of humour to each lesson.
James is very confident with the content and contributes to the planning of units and assessment tasks. He can engage professionally in conversations with colleagues, parents and other community members. He regularly seeks feedback on his teaching practices and how he approaches an array of student matters.
James creates a very welcoming and spirited environment where students feel safe and comfortable to participate in a range of physical activities. He understands that the adolescent girl can find HPE a challenging subject, however he has a compassionate approach that promotes involvement and enjoyment.
James is a motivator and is focused on improving student outcomes. His classes have 100% participation rates as he makes the delivery of HPE relevant, exciting, and interesting. He gets involved in every lesson, leading by example and he is always looking for ways to improve his teaching practices. The students embrace these qualities and love being active participants in all his lessons.
Students regularly seek his advice on a variety of matters. He listens to their concerns and guides them to seek the support they need. James has a personable approach and students feel comfortable to speak to him.
James initiated HPE TV during lockdown. He filmed the HPE staff completing fitness activities and other entertaining acts, all to engage the students at home.
James has been recognised by the College as an inspiring leader. He aspires to be in Middle Leadership as a Pastoral Guardian (Head of Year). James has also partnered with Chris Jones and ACU to talk to students about his experiences as a teacher. He is a mentor for all.