Warwick Science teacher Mr Ben Garnaut was recently named WA Beginning Teacher of the Year 2018 by the Department of Education.
Ben is an exceptional teacher and has a rare gift for making difficult topics easily understood.
Each day he writes a ‘lesson goal’ on the whiteboard, clearly communicating to students the aim for the day’s work. Ben encourages the class to operate as a team and advocates for students to work together to achieve their goals.
He has played a major role in curriculum development in Science since his arrival at Warwick. Ben demonstrates real skill in differentiating the curriculum to suit the needs of his students.
Ben has introduced an Electronics option course, incorporating experiences that are both exciting and challenging, to increase student interest. It is now proving to be one of the more popular option courses with 73 enrolments in 2018 and the involvement of a second teacher.
Ben’s inventive approach to teaching has also proven effective in Physics with the number of students studying the course increasing in the three years he has been at the school. Almost 70 per cent of students have also received improved marks in the course.
“I try to inspire students before the learning starts,” Ben explains. “My inspiration for lessons comes from life outside of the classroom. From telling stories about working on the mines, surf trips to Indonesia or just something I’ve seen on the news or in the paper, I try to engage the students in the world outside of Warwick so they can see themselves as part of a global community.
“I think there is heaps of space within the curriculum to bring some relevant context and spice to a lesson.”
“Helping students from a variety of backgrounds, especially those less fortunate, that’s the best part of my job – to help them see options for their future they may have never considered and then supporting them to achieve goals to get there”.
“I want my students to see that the world is a truly fascinating and brilliant place. I hope they continue through life looking at the world with a sense of awe and inspiration as they follow their journey.”
Fellow staff members (pictured from left below) Mr Graham Johnson, Ms Jade Muli and Ms Lena Durbridge were unsuccessful finalists in other categories of the WA Education Awards.