Passionate TAFE NSW Lithgow teacher Nicola Connon was recently announced a winner of a prestigious Premier’s Teacher Scholarship at a gala event at the NSW State Library acknowledging her initiative and dedication.
The Premier’s scholarship program enables NSW teachers from government and non-government schools and TAFE NSW to undertake a five-week international study tour, visiting some of the world’s best institutions and centres of learning to consult experts and observe exemplary practices related to a specific aspect of their curriculum.
Ms Connon, a teacher in the Lithgow TAFE Foundation Skills faculty, impressed scholarship judges with her application “Impact of building resilience in the classroom for rural communities and the educational outcomes that follow”.
She plans to travel to the United Kingdom. While undertaking her research, Ms Connon found the UK was at the forefront of resilience education and student wellbeing.
“I was very excited when I heard I had been selected for the Premier’s TAFE NSW Scholarship,” Ms Connon said. “I am passionate about quality teaching and learning. I work with a broad range of learners at Lithgow TAFE in the Foundation Skills faculty.”
Ms Connon’s success did not surprise Frank Thorvaldsson, her head teacher at Lithgow.
“Nicola is dedicated to the craft of teaching,” Mr Thorvaldsson said. “It’s not just about theories of learning. She knows her search for new and better ways to teach ultimately benefits her students and the wider community.”
Ms Connon said building resilience in an educational setting would enhance young people’s ability to cope with adverse life events and issues associated with living in rural communities.
“Within the classroom environment the eventual goal is educational outcomes, lifelong learning skills, improved retention and positive employment outcomes,” she said.