Judy Stafford has been a teacher for more than 40 years. Now, she is turning her attention to helping students with their homework.
What’s your connection to Creeds Farm Living and Learning Centre?
I was appointed homework facilitator late last year and oversee the Homework Club.
Tell us about the Homework Club.
The Homework Club operates on Wednesdays during the school term between 4-6pm. I see the program as a way to support students from both primary and secondary levels to complete homework, research tasks and study for tests and exams. As a secondary teacher, I am acutely aware of the role homework can play in building skills, confidence and resilience in students. As a parent, I know the challenge of working and also supporting children to meet the expectations and demands of school. Sometimes parents are exhausted, don’t have the time or expertise, and I hate the idea of children going to school not having completed the set work. I believe we can partner with teachers and families … to assist students to be successful in their education endeavours.
Why should people consider being tutors?
It’s a wonderful way to be involved with young people and mentor them. We would welcome adults as tutors, but also I think it is a wonderful opportunity for secondary students to mentor younger students. Volunteering is such a positive experience for all concerned. I volunteer at Olympic Adult Education in West Heidelberg in a preliminary level literacy class. I enjoy working with adults from many different cultures and I have learnt so much. You do not need any specific expertise just a willingness to listen and discuss ways of doing things. You would be amazed at the skills and knowledge we all have stored away.
Have you always taught in Whittlesea area?
I have been a teacher since 1976 … where have the years gone? I have taught at a number of schools in the northern suburbs … I have taught at Lalor Technical School, Macleod Technical School, La Trobe Secondary College and finally Thornbury High School.
How has the area changed since 1976?
It seems like yesterday that I was driving out to Lalor Technical School to start my working life. The area is not recognisable. There used to be paddocks and farm animals … this area is a wonderful example of multiculturalism and how we can live together harmoniously. It was then and it still is.
What do you enjoy about teaching?
It’s never boring. We are so lucky as teachers to be working with young people who are the future of our country and the world. I love the enthusiasm, curiosity and honesty of young people. They are so interesting. The classroom is such a stimulating place. It is so rewarding watching students grow intellectually, in their understanding of the world and become lovely human beings taking their place in the world.
To volunteer for the Homework Club, visit www.creedsfarm.org.au or call 9023 4606.