Northpine Christian College
For Lead Teacher Gabriela Davies, teaching is not a job, it’s her “calling”.
Gabriela Davies | Lead
Senior English Teacher/Teaching & Learning Coordinator/Head of English Department | 15 years teaching
"Teacher quality and passion have the greatest impact on student learning."
What inspired you to become a teacher?
My own teachers inspired me to become a pedagogue as they certainly made a massive difference in my life; I come from an Eastern European culture in which teaching and teachers were highly respected and their example was to be emulated. As a result, it was my teachers, alongside my church and my parents, who made me the fulfilled person I am today; as such, I wanted to enjoy the same privilege of having the same impact on students’ lives and futures.
What do you love most about being a teacher?
What I love most about being a teacher - apart from what I have already mentioned and that is to shape people and futures - is the opportunity for me to learn and develop in the process of teaching and developing my students. The intellectual challenge and the pleasure of growing, acquiring knowledge and imbuing students with this desire to broaden their horizons is definitely another highlight of my teaching journey.
What do you believe, from your own personal experience, has the greatest impact on student learning?
Teacher quality and passion have the greatest impact on student learning; I have seen it and experienced it as a student, as a teacher and as a mentor. The better qualified, the more inspirational the teacher, the better the results, no matter how primitive the resources. The teacher makes the learning environment, the teacher makes the resource and must be the best one; the teacher is the guide, the role model, the subject expert, the friend, the confessor, the sounding board, the sage and the raison d’apprendre of the student.
What have you learned about yourself as a teacher by undertaking national certification?
There is a famous Romanian fairy-tale which I loved reading when I was a child; in this fairy-tale, the Moirai were called by the cradle of Prince Charming to wish him well and to each pronounce a blessing that will determine the course of his life. The first two young ones spoke of long life, beauty, kindness and riches, but the oldest one simply pronounced, “Despite it all, thou shalt never be content.” The king and queen lamented this final proclamation, but the wise men told the parents that this is the best of all the pronouncements made, as it contained the seed of his success and his country’s progress. In light of this story, I believe that the undertaking of the national certification taught me that, to be a good teacher – a teacher who changes lives forever and for the best - is to never be content with yourself, to never accept the status quo; it taught me that, if I am not moving forward, I am falling back. Undertaking the Lead Teacher certification also revealed to me that I am not a teacher because it is my job, not even because it is my career, but because it is my vocation, my calling.