Thursday, November 2020

1.  When did you join Life Education Queensland and what do you love about your work?

I joined Life Education Queensland 8.5 years ago. I love the students, their humour, and the fact that they “get me”. I’ve built great relationships after visiting the same schools for many years. It’s also gratifying when teachers express respect for the way I teach the program. They will often give me feedback that I’m loved by their school and their students.

I enjoy my relationship with the school coordinators of my visits. We have fun and catch up each year for a chat and a cup of tea. I love being home by 4pm. I adore working on my own, even though I’m part of a team of 30 educators who deliver the program state-wide. I feel proud to wear the Life Education logo.

2.  How do you know you are making a difference?

I can see from one yearly visit to the next, how much the students remember from the year before: how much has sunk in and even been put into practice, even if it’s only a conversation with a parent. Teachers often remark on this too.

3.  What is the biggest misconception about your job?

That Healthy Harold plays a big part in the day. He is very important and should be cheeky, funny, topical and up to date on the music students like, plus games, programs and adverts they are watching on TV. One day, I had him not appearing from behind the curtain because … HE’D BOUGHT A JEEP! The kids went mad for this one – teachers too. He did eventually come out saying, he was just trying to make them laugh.

Ideally, Healthy Harold should take about five minutes to set the scene and then he pops out at the end for a COVID-safe – (at present)- air cuddle.

He is our mascot, and I have hysterics with him, but it’s the content of the modules that is the most important aspect of the Life Education program.

Pic 5 Sunshine Coast Educator Jennifer Rousset Life Education Queensland

4.  Why is it so important that kids get the right information about nutrition, drugs and alcohol, staying safe online and respectful relationships?

It’s more important than ever. Teachers don’t have the time to cover these topics in as much depth as they’d like to due to a busy curriculum. Despite their best intentions, parents are often stretched and sometimes aren’t equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to explain certain subjects to their children, particularly in areas like cybersafety. Life Education offers a ready-to-go program with age-appropriate content that is aligned to the Australian Curriculum.

5.  What’s the nicest feedback you’ve ever had from a school/principal/school teacher or parent about your role as an educator?

Apart from the lovely feedback from teachers and principals, two comments from parents have stayed with me. One parent said that even though he smoked a lot, he was thrilled when his 11-year-old son told him he would never smoke because of what he had learned from the Life Education program. He bought me flowers to say thank you. Spotting my uniform, another dad stopped me in the local supermarket to let me know that because Healthy Harold loved carrots, his son had tried them for the first time that week. Those moments are priceless.

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