Interview with Elizabeth (Liz) Wyatt
Liz grew up on a farm in Streaky Bay, South Australia. At the age of 12 she attended boarding school in Adelaide, a 12-hour bus ride from home. Following school Liz continued studying, achieving a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma then Graduate Diploma in Teaching, followed by a post-graduate Bachelor of Education Studies. It was while completing these studies in Adelaide that Liz met her husband Garry. It was due to Garry’s work that Liz, with daughter Zoe, moved to Melbourne. Liz started teaching at Scotch in 1996. During her years here Liz has held many roles, teaching Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. Liz has also been a part of the Junior School’s leadership team, being a Year Level Coordinator for the past 20 years. By her own admission Liz is a fast worker, and walker! She is a powerhouse — energetic and organised, creative and artistic, vital and vigorous. Liz’s love of literature has been shared with hundreds of Scotch boys over the years. With her finger firmly on the pulse, Liz has never lost sight of the reason why she became a teacher – to help young people reach their full potential through education, challenge and opportunity. Liz deserves to be in the spotlight for her dedication to Scotch, for constantly reinventing herself as a teacher; indeed to the Junior School community she certainly shines!
KATE IKINGER — DIRECTOR OF JUNIOR PRIMARY
What do you like most about your job?
As a class teacher I have the opportunity to provide the boys with a warm, bright and fun classroom environment conducive to learning, and in doing so build a strong bond and friendship with both the boys and their parents during the year.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always to seek to understand and listen to the views, concerns and ideas of the people around me before taking action, planning a new learning unit of work or resolving a dispute.
What has been your biggest challenge over your years at Scotch?
My biggest challenge each year is to quickly understand the diverse range of abilities in the class, and then to set about building a program that delivers support, growth and enrichment for each boy throughout the year.
From a personal point of view, my biggest challenge has been technology and its speed of change. Over 20 years I have progressed from coloured chalk and a blackboard to the use of an electronic whiteboard and teaching boys with laptop computers and iPads.
After all these years of service to Scotch what is your favourite corner of the school and why?
There is no one favourite corner for me. I get enormous pleasure in walking around all areas of the school, as there have been many changes over the years. Each one of these has added to the first class environment and facilities for the boys in which to grow and develop.
The school itself is continually changing and growing for the needs and development of the boys, and I have been very proud to be part of this.
What advice would you give our VCE students as they embark on a life outside Scotch?
My two pieces of advice to Year 12 students are to challenge themselves to think creatively about what they do, and to seek feedback from those around them. Reflection and feedback are critical ingredients for future growth, and should be continually embraced by everyone through their life journey.
What will be the theme of your farewell speech when you retire?
I think an overriding theme of my farewell speech will be about my passion for teaching, my intensity when organising activities, and my attention to detail when planning the year’s program and units of work.
Many years from now, when you are no longer teaching, what is one of the Scotch memories you will reflect on to warm your heart?
My fondest memories will always be of the whole of Junior School events such as celebrating the Olympic Games. These events offer a different learning environment, where the boys enjoy working as a team with students from Prep to Year 6. In addition, their excitement and enthusiasm to learn in this environment is very rewarding and important in developing a cohesive Junior School.
Personally, I have many fond memories of end-of-year discussions with appreciative parents, reflecting on the changes they have seen in their sons over the year.
ABOVE: MS ELIZABETH WYATT WITH BOYS IN HER CLASS