Teacher loves his role in life

IT was Craig Paul's mucking around at school that led him to find his vocation as a primary school teacher.

“I really wanted to become a marine biologist when I was in high school, but I played up too much and couldn't do the subjects I needed to go on to study it at university,” Mr Paul said yesterday.

But inadvertently he discovered that what he was very good at and what gave him enormous satisfaction was teaching young kids to be the best they possibly could.

“A peer support group had just been introduced at Maclean High when I was in Year 11 or 12, and as school captain, I was encouraged to get involved,” he said.

“The principal, Ron Crittendon, suggested that I consider teaching after he saw how well I related to younger kids, and it really set me on a clear path.”

Mr Paul is now in his fourth year of teaching kindergarten at Palmers Island Public School.

The school has two male teachers and three permanent female teachers for an enrolment of 78 children.

He likes to challenge himself and understand the needs of all primary school ages and how each year progresses to the next.

He does not see the fact that he is a male as making any difference to the impact he can make to a child's education and development but believes a balance between the two is optimal.

“Just as it would be great to have teachers from different cultural backgrounds, it's great to have male and female teachers, but it is not necessary for a great education. It all comes down to the desire and capability of the teacher,” he said.

Mr Paul said if he made a positive impact on someone's life, then he was extremely happy - it had all been worthwhile.

“ I really wanted to instil in kids not to make the same mistakes I did.”

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