Local teacher nominated for Tasmanian Community Achievement Award

MATHEMATICS and science teacher Thomas Coad, from Rose Bay High School, has been nominated for the 2018 ‘University of Tasmania Teaching Excellence Award’.

Mr Coad teaches science and mathematics at Rose Bay High School.

As a graduate teacher, Mr Coad said he was honoured to be nominated for a Community Achievement Award so early into his teaching career.

During his completion of a Bachelor of Marine Science and a Master of Marine and Antarctic Science at the University of Tasmania, Mr Coad’s love of science gave him many opportunities, including a 10-week journey to Antarctica.

He was invited to visit a school to share his experiences with the children.

“It was shortly after that I decided to go into a teaching degree, because I really liked communicating the science I had done in my years with the students,” he said.

“I love science inquiry and being able to use scientific understanding to solve real world problems.

“My goal is to bring these experiences into the classroom and curriculum and be able to show the children where science can take them.”

Mr Coad has strong beliefs that teachers could be agents of change.

“It is our responsibility to provide our students with the knowledge and skills required to become active and informed citizens who can live healthy and happy lives in our community,” he said.

“I want to make learning relevant to the students, and to incorporate as much hands-on learning as I can to make it more accessible to the kids.

“I consider it my role to construct an environment that is responsive to student needs and fosters collaboration, inclusion, creativity and critical thinking.”

Mr Coad said teaching effectively in practice had taken planning, re-evaluation and critical reflection on previous lessons.

Nicole Green, curriculum leader for science at Rose Bay High School, said Mr Coad had fit seamlessly into the school and had pushed the boundaries of learning.

“Thomas has a really strong background in marine science, so he has been able to bring that into the kids which is great,” she said.

“He is really passionate about science itself which comes across immediately in his teaching, so the kids really pick up on and feed off that.

“Even a subject which is not a specialisation of his, he will immediately dig deep into it, finds the application, and finds a way to meet the kids where they are with it.

“The kids see that enthusiasm for learning and that passion and they can’t help but become highly engaged and involved in his lessons.”

Mr Coad is also heavily involved in the wider school community as the Chair of the RoboCup Junior Competition.

RoboCup Junior is a competition where students from across the state engage in robotics-centred competitions that facilitate teamwork, problem solving, computational thinking and coding skills relevant to the 21st century.

“RoboCup Junior is all about bringing students together for collaborative learning and some fun, healthy competition,” Mr Coad said.

In his short teaching career, Mr Coad has made a difference inside and outside the school community.

His passion for the learning application of science and mathematics has been recognised by his peers and students as one of the reasons he is an exceptional teacher.

Caption: Thomas Coad of Rose Bay High School has been nominated for the ‘University of Tasmania Teaching Excellence Award’ at the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards.