Humans of St John’s
Welcome to the second edition of Humans of St John’s featuring Primary Learning Enhancement Teacher, Katrina Brown. Hear from Katrina as she shares with us her journey from Interior Design to specialist teacher here at St John’s.
I was born in Brisbane and grew up in the local area in a semi-rural setting. As a child, I attended private school and loved Art, Social Sciences, PE, English and Music. I played the organ, was a Brownie and a Girl Guide and enjoyed drawing and design, time with my pets and being outdoors. As a family, we loved to go camping with friends and I learned a great deal about organisation, problem-solving, survival and working as a team.
Growing up, I played netball and swimming. I can remember waking up at 5am most weekday mornings and going to the pool to train while the stars were still out. Most mornings a warm-up consisted of a 1km swim. This discipline and commitment taught me a lot about myself and life. I have always been determined and goal focussed.
Upon completing High School, I applied to The Queensland College of Art to commence and further complete a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Interior Design. A few years into this profession, the industry was not flourishing, and I felt a strong call to move into teaching. As a lifelong learner, I completed a degree in teaching and later went on to complete a post-graduate qualification in Human Behaviour. I am currently working toward a qualification in Play Therapy, with an interest in animal-assisted therapy.
As a teacher for 20 years, qualified to teach Prep to Year 10, I have mostly worked in Early Years, Learning Enhancement and Special Education. For the past few years, I have had the privilege of taking a group of students to Equine Assisted Therapy and have seen the benefits of this socially, developmentally and academically. My love and experience in the area of Learning Enhancement begun when I felt drawn to the needs of the students that were struggling. A desire to meet these needs individually or in a more personalised setting drove me to further equip myself with the skills to support and change the direction of their future. The goal and hope for some, was dim and the helplessness felt by them, staff and parents were something I knew that I could impact in a positive way. I have a sensitivity and desire to see ALL succeed.
I have witnessed an inclusive, caring and holistic culture across the College and believe the Inquiry model for teaching and learning and PYP is helping to strengthen and develop our future leaders. My job involves supporting staff, students and families of St John’s in developing, identifying and strengthening learning goals and giving access to the curriculum for those with a learning difficulty or disability.
As a Learning Enhancement Teacher at the Primary School, my Response to Intervention (RtI) is a multi-tier educational approach aimed at early identification and support of students whose learning needs are not being met. It is an educational initiative meant for all students. Students progress through the tiers and individualised support and programs along with NCCD/Verification documents are developed. It is a privilege to come alongside students and their families to find success at an individual level and see them succeed in their own learning journey.
I am passionate about a team approach and therefore value the need for allied health professionals and continuing education to improve my current practice. My goal is to further develop Learning Enhancement at St John’s into a strength-based approach and a Talented and Gifted program designed to challenge and inspire gifted children. This is in line with the inquiry and collaborative approach adopted by the College and one that I believe is the way of the future. It is our job to train and develop young minds and this is best done as a community – parent/carer, child and teacher.
Every day I embrace the opportunities that I am given to shape young minds, hearts and spirits. This begins with relationships and seeing the potential that God has placed within each one. Let’s always reach toward the goal for greater things and dream big.