“What I love about being an educator is seeing the students make those new connections and being blown away by what they are learning in the mobile learning centre,” says Mariana.
Originally from Brazil, Mariana visited Australia in 2004 to complete a Bachelor of Business and Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching. She fell in love with Queensland and decided to make the sunny Gold Coast her new home.
She started her career as a secondary school teacher in 2015 and has been teaching dance since 2008 to jazz and contemporary dance students.
Mariana began her role as a health educator at Life Education Queensland in January 2021, and brings her enthusiasm and passion for teaching the program to each school that she visits in her region.
There are a variety of reasons Mariana believes the Life Education program is so engaging for students.
“In the van, it’s the combination of all the different hands-on experiences: the night sky stars, engaging videos, brain breaks to help students stay focussed and let off some extra energy, and games students can participate in,” says Mariana.
“Then of course, there is Healthy Harold. The magic that revolves around him really helps students open up to receive the important health messages.”
Mariana believes all the modules delivered by the Life Education teams across Australia are of extreme value and importance to children at this time of their lives.
The three modules in particular she believes students in her region enjoy participating in are Decisions, bCyberwise and My Body Matters.
“Decisions is such a fun module to deliver. It touches on different challenges students might encounter and choices they will need to make in their life,” says Mariana.
“Cybersafety is such a relevant topic in students’ lives, hence the bCyberwise module. Students use technology every day and want to talk about the experiences they have online and how to navigate technology appropriately and with the help of a safe adult.”
“My Body Matters leans more to the junior primary school age group and is a great way to introduce the concepts of healthy eating and importance of exercise, while also talking about personal hygiene. The module is a really nice introduction to the Life Education program and sets the scene for students for what they will be learning in the following years.”
Mariana often receives positive feedback from Queensland teachers who say the program is reinforcing those same messages students hear in the classroom, as the modules are aligned to the Australian curriculum.
“You hear from teachers that the range of topics we cover are each so important in their own way,” says Mariana.
“The program isn’t about using scare tactics. It’s about providing students with all the information they need to understand what a healthy and safe choice will be.”