Developing skills and confidence
Kristyn Oldfield, Aspiri Primary School
WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year
Aspiri Primary School teacher Kristyn Oldfield always knew she wanted to work with children.
“My mum told me she knew I was going to be a teacher when she saw me lining my teddy bears up in front of a chalkboard in the garage,” she says.
This passion for helping and inspiring young people led Kristyn to pursue a career in social work before a work placement with the Department of Education made her realise the incredible impact teaching has.
She then went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Education.
Kristyn has an outstanding ability to create an inclusive environment where she holds high expectations for all levels of physical, social and intellectual development.
“I explain to my students that learning can be uncomfortable, and it is okay to feel a bit uncomfortable when we’re learning something new,” she says.
“Everything is hard before it gets easy.”
Kristyn has the innate ability and strong moral purpose to connect with students who come from varied backgrounds, including those who may have limited literacy and numeracy achievement or behaviour challenges.
In these environments, her impact has been astounding and her students’ self-esteem has ballooned.
“I am motivated and passionate about watching my students’ confidence grow over the year,” Kristyn says.
“They are resilient, positive and forgiving.
“No matter what has happened the day before, they come to class happy and excited about the new day.
“I love how my kids can find so much joy in such simple things and how interesting their perception of the world can be.”
Kristyn’s knowledge and ability to select from a wide range of teaching and assessment strategies, models, research and evidence based practice means she is able to support the full participation of all students by differentiating content, skills and activities.
Her commitment to her students extends beyond the classroom, and her ability to engage with parents and carers in the educative process is also extraordinary.
She uses many platforms to make herself available, visible and approachable in the school community and builds relationships based on trust, care and communication.
She also individually calls every parent every term to tell them something positive about their child and make herself available for any questions.
Each morning and afternoon, Kristyn is also visible at the classroom door or school gate greeting the children and parents as they enter the school grounds.
Kelmscott Primary School teacher Robyn O’Brien was Kristyn’s teaching partner in 2020.
“I have never met such an extraordinary teacher,” she says.
“I was amazed at the high expectations Kristyn showed towards her students and how they rose to meet them.
“Kristyn shared with me so many strategies and practices which had a resounding impact on my teaching and my ability to have an impact on student outcomes.
“She made an unforgettable difference in the lives of everyone at the school, teachers, students and parents.”
Kristyn is passionate about assisting other teachers and helping them improve their skills.
She modelled her teaching practice in her own classroom and volunteered her time to work with others in their classrooms to apply new learning.
Kristyn also ran many workshops, team meetings and professional learning sessions to help others become the best they can be.
Moving forward, Kristyn hopes to continue to guide up-and-coming teachers.
“I’d like to keep mentoring graduate teachers,” she says.
“I want the new generation of teachers to work smarter, not harder, and have a really good work-life balance.
“I want to support great teachers to stay in the profession.”
The award category is for qualified early childhood and primary school teachers working in our schools with a significant proportion of the week dedicated to classroom teaching.
This award is proudly sponsored by platinum partner BHP.
- Kristyn Oldfield, Aspiri Primary School
- Alvin Leo, Safety Bay Primary School
- Emma Smith, Allendale Primary School
- Roseanne Paine, Sheoak Grove Primary School