The Southport School
Jeff Symms’ teaching and leadership experience speaks for itself.
Jeff’s many roles as an educator over the past 34 years have spanned public and independent sectors, high and low socioeconomic areas, major cities and regional Queensland.
Jeff has now been nominated for both the 2017 QCT Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award and Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.
Throughout his career, Jeff has sought to teach across all year levels with the aim of developing a thorough understanding of both children’s learning, and developmentally appropriate pedagogy.
One of Jeff’s most recent successes is the establishment of a kindergarten program at The Southport School (TSS), which in just four years earned the ‘Excellent’ ranking under the National Quality Framework: something that only 49 of the country’s 12,000 early learning centres hold.
“As a teacher, Mr Symms has been universally recognised as contributing to the growth and development of children across their intellectual, social and emotional domains and has left a lasting impact on many children and their parents,” says TSS Deputy Principal Mark Wyer.
Even in the early years of his career, Jeff was identified as an outstanding teacher, and asked to mentor beginning teachers with an ‘open classroom’ approach and through the provision of model lessons.
Following on from mentoring, Jeff was selected to serve on several School Registration Panels to guide schools on their improvement agendas.
Throughout his career, Jeff has been a successful provider of professional learning which has enhanced teacher quality in many schools. As a manager of change in school settings, Jeff is an outstanding, practical leader who excels in working alongside teachers to support their development.
TSS Preparatory School Deputy Principal Kathryn Barry says as a leader Jeff is passionate, enthusiastic and courageous.
“Jeff’s contribution to education in the period of time that I have known him has been exemplary,” says Kathryn.
He has coached sporting teams, led musicals, and organised and accompanied students on national and international school trips, but Jeff believes the most important role he has played in his career is that of a classroom teacher.
Congratulations Jeff on your nomination.