Shea Baxter

Grade 5 Teacher

What made you decide to become a teacher? 

I coached sport at a Primary School while I was studying at Varsity. I loved this! It was so fun to see the enthusiasm and energy that children have. When they were finally able to do a skill, the joy on their faces excited me, too. This is why I decided to do my PGCE after I had finished my honours. The classroom is a bit different to the sports field, but the aim is the same – to achieve what you thought wasn’t possible.

What is your favourite subject to teach and why? 

Although I don’t teach them here at Cowan House, I love teaching Science and Geography the most. The world is such an amazing place and there are always new things to learn and explore. Of the subjects that I do teach, I really enjoy Maths.

What is your first or favourite memory from going to school when you were a child? 

I loved the calmness of the library and the smell of books. To this day, I still love libraries and reading. And, of course, the sport!

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?

I love nature and being outside. The beach, game reserves, hiking and exploring new places are some of my favourite things.

What inspires you? 

I am inspired by the children I teach. The thought that those who pass through my doors are the future and the world is their oyster. I love the times where we go totally off topic (don’t tell the kids this!) and discuss all sorts of things – their interests, what that they’re thinking about or have seen. In these moments, you really get to know what makes them tick as people. I hope they follow their passions one day.

What sort of morning routine do you have to get jazzed for class? 

I am not a morning person at all, and it takes me ages to get going… but tea, tea and more tea always helps! Last year, one of my pupils promised to put a jojo tank up outside my classroom that I could fill with tea… I wonder what happened to that plan?!

What book are you currently reading? 

Currently I am reading 438 Days, by Jonathan Franklin. It is a true story about a fisherman who survived being stranded at sea for fourteen months. Truly incredible.

If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them? 

Oh, there are so many things to see! I have been fortunate enough to have traveled extensively through Asia. It’s a beautiful continent with breath-taking sights, delicious food and wonderful people. Maybe we would cycle around the temples in Siem Reap? Or hike up Mount Rinjani, an active volcano, on Lombok? Or take in the view from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur? Or snorkel in the most beautiful blue waters of the Philippines? Maybe we could do all of these! If only…