As a teacher, your hope for your students is that they become everything they dream of. When that dream is to become a teacher and they return to their former Primary School, that is really something to be proud of.
Christ the King Primary School, North Rocks, has had four former students return as teachers, and two of them are sisters. Principal Tony Hughes said all four teachers: Erin Wynne (nee Casey), Alexandra Trethowan (nee Casey), Courtney Milone and Sarah Brady and their families have had a long association with the school.
Mrs Wynne, who currently teaches Year 2, has been a staff member of Christ The King for five years. She has fond memories of going to the school as a student, and especially of her teacher, current principal Mr Hughes, her Year 3 teacher. She now has both of her children Mia in Year 3 and Thomas in Kindergarten at the school.
“From an early age I always knew I wanted a job where I could help kids. As a child, I was very quiet, so I really appreciate the teachers who made me feel comfortable to be myself. I also liked the teachers who made me feel safe and happy at school, which I think is very important,” Mrs Wynne said.
Since moving back to the Hills area, she said it just made sense to have her own children attend the school too. However, finding the right balance between being a teacher and a parent requires a fair bit of work.
“I make sure I am not a teacher in my children’s class. Once I bring them to school and they are in their classroom, I try to distance myself and trust in their teachers.” Mrs Wynne said.
For Alexandra Trethowan, Mrs Wynne’s sister, and Year 1 teacher, being an aunt to students at the school and a teacher, can be a bit tricky too. “Once the bell goes Mia and Thomas need to be their own person and listen to their teachers,” she said.
“I always remember that I wanted to be a teacher as a kid. I don’t ever remember changing my mind about it. I think as a kid I felt that teachers always wanted to help you to do your best and I hope my students feel the same about me,” Mrs Trethowan said.
Teaching Year 1 alongside Mrs Trethowan is another former student turned teacher, Courtney Milone who always wanted to be a sports teacher, but when it came time to getting her teaching qualifications she decided being a Primary School teacher would be just as rewarding.
“I had the best experience when I went to Christ the King Primary. I was at the school from Kindergarten to Year 6. I remember one teacher who really inspired me and she was Miss Hunt,” Miss Milone said.
“This is my first year as a teacher and it does have its challenges, but it is also rewarding. We have a lot of laughter in my class and the students are very creative and very curious,” Miss Milone said.
For Year 4 teacher Sarah Brady, coming back to her old Primary School as a teacher was a bit strange to begin with when she bumped into some former teachers. However, her former teachers quickly became good colleagues, mentors and friends.
One of the biggest surprises she has found about being a teacher is the fact there is “so much work that you don’t realise teachers do, until you are one!”
Despite that, she said she wouldn’t change a thing and hopes she can now pass onto a new generation of learners the same confidence her own teachers inspired.
With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.