Tuesday 23 May 2023
Photo L to R: Jake, Kurt, and Rhys Sparey
For brothers Jake, Kurt, and Rhys Sparey, teaching is a family affair. Following in their mother's footsteps, all three brothers completed their teaching degrees at Griffith University, and were granted teacher registration with the QCT on the same day. We caught up with the brothers to find out what it’s like studying and navigating school life as an Early Career Teacher alongside your siblings.
QCT: Tell us what inspired you to become teachers?
Jake: It’s not something we’ve always wanted to do, but it wasn’t until about a year into teaching that we realised the profound impact that we could have on students in the Logan area.
QCT: What was it like studying your Initial Teacher Education, applying for jobs, and being granted registration at the same time?
Jake: Studying together was an extremely beneficial and enjoyable experience. It gave us that exposure to collegiality early on, that we are all benefitting from now as Early Career Teachers. When applying for jobs, we really drew on the great connections we’d established from previous jobs in the department as well as during practical placements.
QCT: What are your experiences as first year teachers like so far?
Kurt: I’ve had a very positive start to my teaching career! The support I’m receiving from my school (Windaroo Valley State High School) is second to none, and my mentor has been integral part to transitioning to a full-time teaching load - his knowledge has been invaluable. The student body is similar to when I went to school, so knowing the students and how they learn has been key.
Rhys: Working in Primary education has its challenges, but those challenges are proving to be the essence of my professional development at the moment. I really like seeing my students improve each week in both the health and physical areas of their development.
Jake: I’m loving working at Mabel Park (State High School) in such a richly diverse community. The staff are supportive, and the students make coming to work a breeze.
QCT: What are your goals for your career?
Jake: Short term, my goals are stationed around mastering my pedagogy and curricular knowledge. This feeds into my long-term goals of giving back to my communities and peers through quality teaching and even mentorship if the opportunity presented itself.
Kurt: My goals now are centred around being the best educator I can be to ensure my students receive the best educator I can offer. Leadership roles interest me in the future, but I understand how these foundational years are crucial if I wish to see that into fruition.
Rhys: Like my brothers, I want to continue to learn from school leaders to master my teaching practice. Long term, I think working with both of my brothers would be something special.
QCT: What is something you’re looking forward to in your work this year?
Kurt: We all agree that we are looking forward to seeing the growth in ourselves, our schools, and most importantly, our students. We await those ‘a-ha!’ moments and look forward to any chance we get to cross paths in the profession.
QCT: How important do you think it is for teachers to recognise themselves as professionals?
Rhys: I think we all believe that recognising ourselves as professionals is an important part of representing the overall public perception of teaching. If we want to attract quality people to the profession, we must first be quality people ourselves.