Jayne Kingwell: From Passionate Educator to Acting Deputy Principal

Embarking on a journey fuelled by a passion for education, Jayne Kingwell took some unexpected twists and turns, ultimately leading her to a fulfilling career in teaching. Her dedication to fostering learning has propelled her towards her current role as Acting Deputy Principal for 2024. In this blog, we delve into Jayne’s passion for education, explore her aspirations in the new position, and uncover what guides Jayne’s approach to teaching and learning. 

What ignited your passion for education?

I always remember being interested in teaching but was talked out of it as a Year 12 student, so I went on to do an Economics degree instead. My curiosity about teaching never left, so I decided to pursue a career in education after finishing my bachelor’s degree. After my first day of practical placement, I knew it was for me, and I haven’t looked back since. As a result, I am a huge advocate for the profession and enjoy talking to students about what a positive and fulfilling career choice teaching can be. Seeing a student improve, progress, and believe in themselves under your guidance is incredibly rewarding and remains my favourite part of the job.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Acting Deputy Principal, Teaching & Learning?

The role of Deputy Principal allows me to engage with more people across the College: teachers, students, parents, the College Leadership Team, Deans, the Academic Council and our amazing support staff. The relationships I am forming and strengthening in the first few weeks are incredibly rewarding. I also love learning and am already learning so much and challenging myself in a way that feels invigorating. Deputy Principals operate in the strategic space, engaging in big-picture thinking and forward planning. This aspect of the role allows me to guide the teaching and learning direction of the school and implement strategies to drive positive change and growth, which is very exciting.

What do you hope to achieve this year?

In my previous roles as Head of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Head of Professional Learning, I have enjoyed contributing to the strong teaching and learning culture that is the hallmark of Santa Maria College. Much work has been done in recent years around deep learning, and I am excited about the endeavours we have planned this year to consolidate this focus further. In particular, enacting the College’s ‘Habits for Learning Excellence’ and developing ways to report on our Connecting Learning to Life attributes will be key initiatives in 2024.

What is your philosophy around effective teaching and learning?

My philosophy around effective teaching and learning is based on four essential elements: relationships, passion, expert teaching knowledge, and quality feedback focused on growth and progress. Building strong connections between teachers and students creates a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to thrive. Meaningful relationships cultivate trust, collaboration, and a sense of belonging, essential for a learning environment to foster curiosity and creativity. Knowing your content is important as a teacher, but knowing how to teach it and displaying a genuine passion for the subject is more important. When a teacher loves their subject and has a deep understanding of the strategies needed to make that subject accessible and engaging to all students, meaningful learning experiences occur. Finally, quality feedback is key. Constructive feedback, which is growth-focused, encourages students to persevere through challenges and focus on improvement. By prioritising effective feedback, we can empower students to take ownership of their learning and adopt a growth mindset. 

Quote: When a teacher loves their subject and has a deep understanding of the strategies needed to make that subject accessible and engaging to all students, meaningful learning experiences occur.

What do you enjoy doing during your downtime?

Most people are surprised when they find out I enjoy watching cricket and am a big Adam Gilchrist fan. My son is also an NBA and NFL fan so that I can hold a decent conversation with anyone on the latest players and teams. I also love reading fiction. I read every day without fail and enjoy discussing my latest books with my friends when we catch up for Book Club. Most importantly, though, I have two beautiful children, an amazing husband and a very cute cavoodle who keeps me busy and active.

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