Leah Crockford

Berry Springs Primary School, NT

Teaching Fellow

Why did you apply for a commonwealth bank teaching award?

I was nominated by a colleague. I was honoured and saw this as an opportunity to celebrate our achievements with the school community.

In your application, you wrote about how you’ve been transforming outcomes for your students. Tell us what you’ve been doing, and what the results have been.

As a leader, the greatest focus was on the learning experiences for children being real, rich and relevant through a relentless focus on culture and climate of the community – particularly the staff having high expectations, deep empathy and a shared moral purpose for the students.

How has becoming a teaching fellow benefited you?

Being a Teaching Fellow has reinvigorated me as a leader as well as an instructional coach in classrooms. It has given me professional connections that I believe will enable building the profession across our country as well as within the jurisdiction that I work.

How have your school and your students benefited from your award?

I believe that the school has been given more than funding for a project, but the students have been given the gifts of courage and inspiration to step out and take risks that they may not have done without the broader support and acknowledgment of the Australian education community. For me, I am focused on continuous improvement bound in the foundations of building a shared story and moral purpose that supports improving student outcomes and building better communities.

What advice would you give any teachers or school leaders thinking about applying this year?

Absolutely go for it. Ensure you have the evidence to back your story and your school community’s improvement trajectories. The Fellowship has opened doors that I couldn’t have imagined and hope it continues to do so, as we embark on building a strong network of educational leaders that are making a difference.