Rural, regional and remote schools have some of the state’s most exceptional beginning and preservice teachers thanks to a Brisbane school leader, who is also playing a transformative role at her school.
Kelvin Grove State College (KGSC) Deputy Principal Linda Eager’s leadership in educating the next generation of Queensland teachers has had a profound effect on the profession.
The retention rate of beginning teachers coming out of the Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre for Excellence (TECE)—which supports high-achieving final-year teacher education students—is 98.2 per cent.
TECE students undertake their final practicum in a rural, regional or remote school in Queensland, with the intention of creating future permanent employment opportunities for them.
They are also provided with mentors and weekly professional development sessions.
KGSC Learning Enhancement and Pedagogical Practices Head of Department, Mari-Claire Ferguson, says Linda has also created TECE Professional Development Fridays and Hour of Power sessions, which involve preservice teachers, early career teachers and Highly Accomplished Teachers and Lead Teachers. Linda also delivers up to 160 personal development sessions each year.
“Linda’s contribution to this program benefits a new generation of classroom-ready teachers, which in turn is a gift to thousands of rural and remote students across the state,” Mari-Claire says.
Under Linda’s leadership, KGSC middle school enrolments have skyrocketed from 590 students to 1555 over the past decade.
“Well versed in the ethos of Middle School philosophy, Linda developed a Middle School feedback cycle to analyse data, and assist teacher reflection, as well as collaboratively developing classroom improvement strategies,” Mari-Claire states. “The key focus to engage Middle School students in their learning was to improve student motivation by building a strong culture that would ignite a love of learning.”
“Her leadership created a strong Middle School brand through her development of enrolment days, open days and Brisbane City Cluster projects.”
Liaising with local universities, Linda also manages KGSC’s Preservice Teacher Placement Program, which hosts 180 preservice teachers annually.
She has also created ‘Collegial Cafés’ (a biennial round of teacher group discussions on individual education topic), a Middle School Individual Coaching Program, the Academic Pathways strategic initiative involving Brisbane City Cluster Principals, a college-wide Inclusive Curriculum Support (ICS) and an ICS Expert teaching team. Linda is also on panels for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership.
Mari-Claire says school leaders, teachers and students seek out Linda on a daily basis for advice, due to her natural warmth and the high respect others have for her.
“Linda’s superpower is absolutely in her interpersonal skills,” Mari-Claire says.
Congratulations Linda on your nomination.