Dr Jayne Ferguson is in her second year of the Teach First NZ programme, teaching Chemistry at Kelston Boys High School. Read on to learn about the impact Jayne has had in just her first year of teaching.
“I'm loving teaching Chemistry at KBHS to a group of motivated, polite and keen to learn young men. I enjoy learning with them and helping them to make sense of the chemistry in the world around them.
Teaching is much tougher than I expected in terms of the admin required to keep up, but the interactions with the students (the most important bit) is more enjoyable than expected.
I have learnt a lot from our KBHS boys. I have learnt about being 'bruddas', and being part of a community. Our boys really do live the 2015 school theme; “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Being part of a learning community with the boys has been inspiring for me. I have learnt from the boys how to work in a group and help people around you.
My teaching philosophy could be as simple as, if you can understand it then you don’t have to remember anything. Lots of boys come to chemistry thinking there is a lot of memorising involved but I try and teach so they can see where the key concepts come from and how they link together so that they can understand the big picture rather than remember lots of facts that they can't connect.
Vishesh was a really motivated student in my 12CHEM class. With a group of students we set up a lunchtime scholarship chemistry session where we went through past exam questions. The boys were so dedicated they came in during the holidays to learn some key concepts not covered in class that they needed for scholarship. We had a great time! Vishesh was really keen to help others around him during the year, and comes occasionally to my 12CHEM class this year to help out.”
- Dr Jayne Ferguson (Teach First NZ Participant at Kelston Boys High School 2014-15)
“Vishesh Prasad, recipient of Kelston's only scholarship in Chemistry was in Year 12 last year. Normally it is Year 13 students who gain such a prestigious award. He was a member of a small group of students who attended lunchtime tutorials to gain assistance from Jayne in their preparation for this exam. A naturally-talented student with a strong work ethic and a determination to do well. Well done, Vishesh and Jayne!”
- Steve White (Head of Science Faculty)
“Mrs Ferguson is an exceptional teacher who...always found a way to make a lesson interesting in order to keep my focus in the class...strategies she used included using analogies that related to the class, such as using rugby and sport as an example. She set weekly homework that was set to challenge us and also helped us revise what we learnt during the week. Mrs Ferguson would also use notes of her own, combined with notes from our workbook to help us make better notes. She would make sure that students do their work...Mrs Ferguson’s passion for teaching could be seen through the methods that she used. I can tell that she really wanted the whole class to succeed in Chemistry. All the extra hours that she put in for tutorials, and especially for scholarship students where she would give up a lunchtime every week, and coming in for three days in the holidays probably made the difference in me passing.”
- Vishesh Prasad Year 13 student - Chemistry Scholarship recipient (pictured below)
“Jayne, in her first year of teaching, has already accomplished an admirable amount. She is an inspiration to her teaching colleagues as well as her students; and in a sometimes challenging learning environment, has impressed. She teaches with positivity and encouragement and has gained respect as a most competent classroom practitioner and a fervent supporter of the School during extra-curricular events. Her natural leadership ability is utilised in her new role this year as the teacher-in-charge of Junior Science. She sees solutions where others see obstacles. An outstanding reflective practitioner”
- Sharif Member (Mentor and Coordinator of Teach First NZ Participants at Kelston Boys High School)