We spoke to Leila Loader from our Brisbane campus in Queensland Australia about her experience of joining OneSchool Global this year.
Tell me about what inspired you to join OneSchool Global:
Walking into the clean, large multiple learning spaces filled with resources excited and inspired me to want to join OneSchool Global.
After 15 years of teaching, I have never had this many amazing spaces to teach in before. The professionalism and thoroughness of the hiring team reassured me that I was the right fit for OSG.
What were your first impressions of the school and its students?
I was greeted warmly by a staff member who walked me through the multiple spaces including the staff office (where I have a workstation set up with twin screens etc). Excited to meet my students, I was surprised to see how eager and ready to learn my new students were. The students sat still, listened quietly to my instructions, and respectfully raised their hands when they had questions. Once the students warmed to me, their respectful behaviour continued with only chatter to contend with throughout the day.
In your experience, how is working at OSG different from other schools?
OSG is the most respectful and professional workspace I have worked with as a teacher. The staff and Principal are flexible and adaptable to help you adjust when you have family concerns and or commitments.
OSG respects your work hours; meetings are finished at 4pm and it is encouraged that all staff have work life balance. Team chats and zooms with other Primary teachers are encouraged and provide a great time to brainstorm and collaborate when you need to ask questions.
Like all other schools, timetables and school events can alter your daily routine. Unlike other schools, OSG also provides a full day off class to zoom parents for a 10 minute per student, starting at 8am and finishing at 4pm.
Being part of a larger organisation creates a well-resourced work environment where you can reach out to knowledgeable staff and seek professional development that helps expand your knowledge and skills.
Professional Development is so highly regarded at OSG. Every Wednesday students leave at 2:10pm. Staff are provided, via zoom, Professional Development that is either OSG focused or a part of your own Professional Development goals. These also finish at 4pm.
When first starting at OSG you participate in an induction, which provides Professional Development that addresses questions about OSG systems and the Learning to Learn framework. This was a wonderful time to connect to other new staff members from around Australia.
How would you describe the teaching philosophy or approach at OneSchool Global? How does this differ from your previous school/s?
OSG’s philosophy of Learning to Learn resonates with my ethos of teaching. Young students need fundamental skills and part of those skills are to understand themselves as a learner. Where and how they learn best for different topics/learning expectations. This is the core focus at OSG.
Students are given assignments which include what they will learn and how they will learn it. When working on assignments, we discuss the learning journey and what resources are available in the student’s “backpack” to allow them to independently navigate through completing their assessments.
This open discussion about how learning is not always smooth sailing and that you need resources to help you succeed, is something that I have not seen in any school before.
What aspects of the OneSchool Global’s culture and values resonate with you the most?
OSG values their staff; we all look out for each other and help each other when needed. The idea of the three musketeers saying “all for one and one for all” resonates with the culture of the school.
I like how OSG uses restorative practice. Teachers take the time to discuss with the students why they chose to act the way they did and to navigate better strategies in the future.
Is working with OneSchool Global what you thought it would be like?
The idea of working for a school for students and families from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church made me question if the school was the right fit for me. It was wonderful having a meeting and presentation with a church community member in the early weeks of starting at OSG. It allowed us (the new staff) to ask questions openly and have our questions answered to help understand the context of the Church community.
Can you tell us a bit about planning and delivering lessons at OneSchool Global? What sort of resources do you have access to and how is technology integrated into learning experiences?
Assignment and lesson planning is done mostly collaboratively. In Australia, where I am based, there are yearly plans that scaffold the areas of the Australian Curriculum to be addressed. As a Primary group, we negotiate within zoom or teams with our fellow graded staff members from around Queensland. Using resources from the past years and finding our own. We use websites like Clipview, Inquisitive, OSG resources list and iMaths to help create our programs.
Students are provided with a working laptop that has quick responding online IT support, if we have any difficulties. The use of online platforms such as Canvas, Zoom, Literacy Planet, Reading Eggs, iMaths, Mathletics, Dojo and much more helps students to take charge of their learning and learn to become independent workers.
Tell me what the school community is like at OneSchool Global. How do you find the interactions with Church Community members, parents, students and your fellow teachers?
I have felt respected and supported by the school community. As an example, I reached out to the community to find a business that would take all the Primary students on a tour of their operations for an excursion. Going to visit a medical devices company was offered and it was considered “the best excursion ever” by students. The business owner (a parent from the school community) was welcoming, provided hands-on experience of all the showroom equipment, answered all my students’ questions and even gave each student a show bag of resources and mini high vis vests.
Parents took time off their busy schedule to drive the students to the excursion and back to school. I have never had so much wonderful support at a school like this before.
How would you characterise the support from and collaboration with colleagues at OneSchool Global?
The staff at OSG understand that when you are new, you need to ask many questions. I have been given a mentor, whom I can call upon whenever I have a question. I also have a selection of staff whom I can reach out to, to discuss OSG ways and I’m lucky enough to have a full-time wonderful Teacher Assistant (she is seriously a life saver). My principal is the most supportive and caring principal I have ever had – I cannot fault him!
What would your advice be for someone considering a teaching position at OSG?
If you want to feel supported, respected and valued – give OSG a go.