Karen Augustson - Team Leader, Western Australia, Professional Learning

Why Positive Partnerships?

I was introduced to Positive Partnerships (PP) about 5 years ago by Kim Schroeder as a Key Local Professional (KLP).  Over the years, I have continued to follow PP and see the development and growth of a fabulous project and resource for families and schools.  I was thrilled to be asked to work with the team as Team Leader Professional Learning for WA and hope I can be a valuable asset to this amazing team.

What do you hope to achieve in this role?

I am hoping to grow Positive Partnerships in WA and ensure the consistency and professionalism that has been set is maintained and developed further.

Tell us about your previous roles.

I have worked in many roles over the past few years.  I have a degree in Psychology and a post graduate teaching degree in Early Childhood.  I have worked in mainstream schools in the north of WA and in Special Educational settings in Albany.  I currently work for the Department of Education, School of Special Educational Needs – Disability as a consulting teacher and cover the Great Southern Education District. This role is 3 days per week and my Team Leader role with PP is 2 days per week. My parent role is 7 days per week so all in all a full week.

What inspires you to make a difference?

My children, other people’s children and the belief that all children can learn.  “The question is not can they learn the way I teach BUT can I teach the way they learn.”  I am a strong believer in Universal Design for learning and planning for all students.

Finally, what are some tips for teachers and parents on how to help children settle in, when they start school or transition to high school?

As a Kindergarten teacher when students came to my class, anxiety and excitement was always high.  New beginnings and transitions are always both exciting, fun and stressful.  Keep balanced as a parent and where routines can remain the same, keep them the same. This will help both you and your child.  Communicate with your school at all times; emails are great for that. Don’t leave it until there is a problem - communicate, communicate, communicate. The key to a good transition, as with, is the planning.  Kindness and a soft voice, allowing for changes and settling in is essential to allow a safe and happy environment for all. Remember to breathe at all times!