Kev, the pre-sevice teacher

In keeping with my chronological stories of Kev, we are now up to becoming a teacher.

When I met Kev, he worked for FAI, not long after, he moved to work for an insurance broker. He hated it. He had been promoted rapidly from his first job in the mail room of National Mutual because he is open and friendly and curious about how things work.  But Kev is too nice for sales and he hates the stress involved with money. So he hated his job.

Selfie circa '93He had stayed on this career path because he took the first job he was offered in the late 80’s, during a ‘financial crisis’ and he listened to his dad’s advice about not leaving a secure job in a depressed market.  Although I’m sure Noel would not have used those words.

But after the predictive testing, his priorities changed.  During many of our ‘deep and meaningful’ discussion after his positive predictive test, Kev mentioned that he had wanted to become a teacher but had not done well enough in the HSC.  (I’m sure some stories will surface with the reasons why soon enough).

He was convinced that he was stupid.  A hangover from being the youngest of 3 other highly intelligent human beings, who understandably found their 5 year old brother to be incredibly stupid.  Kev’s formal education did not engage him in a way to change this opinion of himself.  It took a lot of effort on my part to convince him that he was more than smart enough to become a teacher.

So Kevin quit his job and did a mature age student bridging course at the University of Wollongong that led to entry into a Bachelor of Teaching, Primary.  I have to say Kevin is not the most academic human being on the planet.  He has a high emotional intelligence (much higher than mine) but when it came to the academics of pedagogy he struggled.

I was doing my Graduate Diploma of Education at the same time and he would frustrate me with his innovative ideas and ease at face-to-face teaching.  He could break concepts down and teach them in a way that was accessible and easy to understand.  However, he could not tell you how he did it or why.  His common but frustrating response would be, “its just common sense Jen, everyone just does it that way.”

Gateway ProgramHe would be frustrated by assignments, he simply could not write 2000 words on his rationale for a literacy strategy because in his mind it was ‘just common sense’.  He would also be equally frustrated by marking guidelines set by lecturers that had no bearing on how a task would be marked.

Needless to say, I now have a very good understanding of the primary course work that Kev did.  Let’s just say that my ability to touch type may have included a heavy editorial role in the creation of most of Kevin’s academic essays.  We would spend countless hours, with me typing and asking Kev what he wanted to say.  Kev giving me one sentence and me trying to get him to turn that into 2 paragraphs.

Kev was a brilliant teacher. He took his responsibilities as a teacher very seriously (more on this later). He was a leader, even though he never wanted to take on leadership roles. Teacher and students loved him and they all learned, but he struggled with the academic side of educational theory. He is one of the examples of why academic results in the HSC can never be the only way to judge who becomes a pre-service teacher and that University results are not always the best measure of who will become a quality teacher.


3 thoughts on “Kev, the pre-sevice teacher

  1. leigh thomas

    Jen and kev. I laughed when reading this part about kev’s common sense attitude. I understand completely, josh is exactly the same. Most of the time when he has an assignment to do he can sum it up in very few sentences. Everything to him is just common sense lol.

  2. Ali

    I too have the same reasoning when it comes to computer tasks and if you need to explain it to people you break things down on a “click this” style basis so it is point by point and this usually works including helping a young bloke in America with down syndrome who had moved the status bar from the bottom to the top of the screen and could not work out how to get it back to the bottom. I spent around an hour talking with him on voice trying to get him to do it and in the end a light went on in my head and I asked him if he happened to be left handed. Turns out he was so all the things I told him to do had to be reversed when concerned with which side of the mouse to click to make menus pop up. Once we got that sorted he was able to follow my instructions and he fixed it himself and to this day he remembers just how to fix it when it happens so I do totally understand about breaking things down. This is a sign of a very good teacher and if more teachers were like Kev there would be many less students failing their studies due to teachers who “can’t be bothered” and put these students in the “too hard basket”. Kev teach as long as you can hon because you are the type of teacher kids will remember to be good and live on in lasting memories.


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