Yo Teach! My Week As a High School Teacher

in Week Twenty Three - High School Teacher

My Job This Week

With a huge thank you to both Miss Coppin and her School, Saint Francis Xavier College for taking me on this week.  I have had the privilege of finding out what it’s actually like to work as a High School Teacher!

Monday morning and my alarm went off at 6.30am, Snooze, 6.40am Snooze, 6.50am Snooze, 7am  Elissa comes out to the lounge room to wake me up… Drowsily I muster up enough energy in my half zombified state to say,

I’m awake.

Time to iron the creases into the front of my pants, brush my hair and grab my briefcase! Oh and most importantly not forgetting every piece of winter clothing I own, because this Brissy boy is freezing down here! Even my Mum, Dad and Sister were kind enough to all text me and remind me that I was going to freeze my butt off!


I arrived and went straight in to meet with the Principal of the School, Angus. He gave me a warm welcome and a quote to sum up the job of teaching which stayed with me.

Teaching is the best job in the world, just with some of the worst days imaginable

The school bell went and it was time to head to Pastoral Care (Roll Call). I was introduced to a very enthusiastic and lively bunch of year 11 students, still fighting to wake up in time for their first class of the day. (I certainly had sympathy for them as I remember those days not so long ago)

For the rest of day one I was shadowing Miss Coppin (Elissa) and assisting when I could within her Grade 7 & 8 classes.

The day had flown by!

The Grade 8’s even told me that I look like a cross between Hamish Blake and Jesus.

So what do you think?

hamishAlong with growing my hair for the year. I've also elected to grow my beard. Which the students at SFX College have dubbed me with the nickname Jesus! :Pjesus

Personally I can’t see the resemblance….


Had my very first opportunity to Teach today and I’m not going to lie. I had an absolute blast despite all the nerves!

I taught Miss Coppins’ grade 7’s about National Reconciliation Week, it’s history and the importance of it to recognise the traditional custodians of the land. It was great to see so many of these young talented minds answer with such understanding and compassion for the topic. ( I wonder if I was ever as insightful throughout my younger schooling years?)

Here’s a video from National Reconciliation Week, which brought about the discussion topic of the upcoming referendum which is believed to be coming up.

Why do teachers teach?

There’s just something about being back in the school environment that reminded me of how much fun I had at school as a kid growing up.

I wonder if that’s the reason why so many kids grow up wanting to be teachers?  Because they enjoyed being at school so much that they didn’t want to leave?

So I decided to ask a few of the teachers what inspired or help them make up their minds about becoming teachers?

(Video Responses To Come)



Stayed up with Miss Coppin marking assignments till midnight to learn all about the harsh reality of what teaching can be like.

As I became aware throughout this week…

It’s definitely a misconception that a Teachers’ day actually finishes when the kids leave school at 3. Most days they can be found staying back until 5 or 6 pm then heading home to continue marking or organising the next days classes.



Today I taught the Grade 8’s about the importance giving ‘recognition’  to one another and how  bullying isn’t cool or acceptable.

Miss Coppin had chosen a song by Kate Miller-Heidki called Stuck in the Crowd  to help with conveying this message to the class throughout the lesson. It was a really powerful song which I thought I should share with you all.

Later in the day the girls in my year 8 class were in shock horror when I told them that I had never heard any songs by One Direction!

The look on their faces were priceless. It gained a very similar facial reaction to when I told them about the time I worked on a Beef farm and I saw the cows being taken away to get turned into Big Macs and CheeseBurgers at Maccas… Whoops! But it was hands down the funniest reaction I’ve ever seen in my life! (Especially from you Nicole)

So here you are girls, this should make you happy… here’s some One Direction


I taught my very first senior (year 11) class today at SFX and afterwards I came out of it on an absolute high.

All week I’d been teaching my bright young year 7 & 8 students,  then today I had my very first Senior class which after spending the lesson with them all I could think was… WOW, so this is what my Grade 7 & 8 students will eventually grow up to be! Upstanding young adults, who are ready to take on the world and bravely question what happens in it!

All I could think to myself was, it was like having the ability to press fast forward to see how the kids turn out.

My day was made even more perfect when I was presented with “Thank You” and “Good Luck” cards from each of my AMAZING grade 7 & 8 classes!

Farewell cards given to me from my year 7 & 8 classes on my last day of being their teacher yesterday :)


A message to both my Grade 7 & 8’s

Thank you.

You were all so well behaved and I can’t wait to hear how you all progress throughout this year and the many fun years you have left at SFX College until you all graduate.

Don’t forget to make heaps of great memories for yourselves whilst you’re there. Some of your best memories will be from High School so make every Day, Hour and Minute you spend there count.

You were a pleasure to teach and I hope that over time you all keep in touch!

Maybe with the help of Miss Coppin you can send me email updates on how everything is going :-)

– Paul


Thank you to all of the Saint Francis Xavier College Teachers and Staff for contributing your time, experience, stories and lessons. It really helped to make it such a memorable experience for me!
Me and my mate Libby

Your Donations towards the Big Brother Big Sisters of Australia was truly amazing and it warmed my heart to see such generous donations being made to a cause that I believe in.. Thank you
A HUGE thank you to my mate Elissa For setting this whole experience up for me and giving me this opportunity! You are a truly great person and will remain a lifelong friend.

My week working at Saint Francis Xavier College has certainly given me something to start thinking about for a potential career path in the future…

–          Paul.