Tuesday 5th December, 2017
Glenvale School offers a big welcome to its new Director of Primary, Peri Dix, who joins the school with more than 30 years’ of teaching experience across primary schools and in English literature, English language and German in secondary.
Mrs Dix has taught at all levels of primary school and up to Year 12 at secondary school. She has been a teacher at many schools and principal at four. As well as teaching subjects, Mrs Dix has a special interest in learning support, the curriculum and student well being. What are her initial impressions of Glenvale and OneSchool?
“OneSchool has been very welcoming,” she said. “Visiting each campus has been most enjoyable and meeting with teachers in their teaching and learning spaces gives me an appreciation of the challenges and positives of the OneSchool system. Dedicated staff, students who focus and enjoy their learning environment and well-resourced classrooms add to my role.”
Mrs Dix has an all-encompassing overview of teaching that includes not only teaching but encouraging parents involvement, as well as acknowledging that people are continually learning even after they leave school
“Teaching allows you to form relationships with colleagues, parents and students where you share learning, target students’ needs and enjoy those lightbulb moments,” she says. “Where you achieve connection with your student and develop their learning into a passion which will stay with them across their lives. Learning is indeed a lifelong progression and one which OneSchool encourages in their students and teaching staff.”
One of the more sobering events in Mrs Dix’s teaching career was the Black Saturday bush fires in January 2009 Victoria where the school she was principal, Marysville Primary, burnt to the ground. It is something that will not only stay with her forever due to the tragedy but also reinforced to her the importance of community.
“My experience at Marysville during and post the Black Saturday fires showed me just how important it is to be part of a community,” she says. “With most families losing homes and, far more tragically, loved ones, support from those within the community was vital to move recovery forward. My role was to support individuals and families as they worked through the horrors and back into some form of a new normal. Community gave me the base from which to work. Families will be forever altered by their experiences of Black Saturday, but the community spirit has deepened and grown in that small town.”
And how does Mrs Dix see the modern role of teaching? She has some sound advice for not only those starting out.
“Starting in teaching today is no doubt daunting but there are supports in place in the form of mentoring and team leaders all of whom can assist a new teacher work through the maze of the early years of their career,” she says. “Ask questions, observe good teachers at work, take notes and build relationships with your colleagues, students and parents. Never be afraid to admit you don’t know something but that you will find out. Always try to improve your teaching skills. It is a rewarding, albeit challenging, career and one with great impact on the adults of tomorrow.”