Farewell Mrs McAtamney

Mrs Jacqui McAtamney

What can you tell us about CCGS on your first day? Take us back to when you first started.

My husband - Mr Jim McAtamney - started teaching at CCGS during the school's second year of operation, so I can remember meeting all the staff in a tiny cottage kitchen (that was the original house onsite) to have a get together. In 2009 I had a year-long contract teaching PE, and then another year contract teaching Music in the Junior School. In 2011, I became a permanent staff member. At the time Mrs Gill was taking leave and she left me with an amazing Year 2 class, who are now the current Year 12 cohort.

What have been the most significant changes in the school and in teaching since you started?

Over the years, I've witnessed significant changes in both the school and teaching methodologies. One notable transformation has been the integration of technology into the classroom, revolutionizing how we educate and interact with students. Additionally, the shift towards team teaching has come full circle for me, as I recall a Practicum in 1990 at an open plan team teaching school in Kelso. The contemporary emphasis on individual learning programs has also played a pivotal role in shaping our approach to education.

What has been the highlight of your CCGS days?

The true highlights of my time at CCGS have been the interactions with the students and their parents. It has been incredibly rewarding working with many high quality teachers and constantly learning from them to expand my own teaching practices. I've had the privilege of managing and coaching basketball for 25 years, creating lasting connections and memories with both the players and their families.

What do you think are the most important skills students learn from school today?

In the current educational landscape, students are not only gaining academic knowledge but are also developing crucial life skills. Community engagement, adherence to routines, recognising learning as a skill, and finding enjoyment in the process are among the most important takeaways for students.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from your students?

My students have taught me the invaluable lesson that there are always various and creative ways to approach challenges. Witnessing a diverse group of students coming together, demonstrating genuine empathy, has been a constant source of inspiration.

What advice do you have for new teachers?

To new teachers, I would emphasise playing to your strengths, disregarding unnecessary worries about others' opinions, and setting personal teaching goals. These goals need not always be strictly academic; they could involve building better connections with students, efficient time management, or delving into special areas of interest.

What will you miss about CCGS?

As I transition away from teaching, what I will miss most about CCGS is the strong connection I have forged with both the dedicated staff and the vibrant student community.

What are you planning to do with your time now that you are no longer teaching?

I am still in planning mode...