Each morning Justin Murillo stands outside the door to his classroom with a warm smile to greet each of his students as they enter.
This connection to his students has established a trust in his classroom which has seen each student’s individual interests and backgrounds shine through Justin’s learning techniques.
The Coomera Rivers State School teacher gives his students choices about how to show what they have learnt as well as about topics, based on their interests and passions.
Justin’s classrooms use a variety of mediums, including video, photos, text, drawing and apps, to encourage students to actively engage in their own learning.
Teaching and learning coordinator Pip Walsh says Justin “collaborates in a global community” and is one of a small group of teachers who was asked by software company, Seesaw, to contribute learning activities to the new Seesaw library.
“His work is then showcased to inspire teachers around the world,” Ms Walsh says.
He works tirelessly to improve student participation in physical activity, coaching sports during lunch breaks, and this year took the lead in organising the school’s very first Kokoda Schools Challenge.
“He coached the students in endurance, resilience and teamwork, which equipped them with valuable strategies and a positive mind-set to bring back to the classroom and school setting,” Ms Walsh says.
Justin also engaged with elite endurance athletes from the community to attend training sessions, and organised donations from staff to make sure one student, who was in a disadvantaged situation, won a New Balance shoe voucher through his efforts at training.
“Justin successfully led all four teams of students and teachers to the finish line at the 2018 Kokoda Schools Challenge, where there was a proud, supportive community of Coomera Rivers’ families cheering them on,” Ms Walsh says.
“The positive impact he had on the students, their families and his colleagues will be lifelong.”
Congratulations Justin on your nomination.