From secondary teacher to primary teacher, from art educator to ICT curriculum leader, France’s passion for education and learning has been the one consistency across her varied experience.

The EducationHQ Unsung Heroes finalist and Manning Primary School teacher remembers her initial role as an art teacher fondly.

“I really loved it. It was such a great thing to do … I had the privilege of taking students right from Year 8, through to Year 12. That was really rewarding.”

Then, after 13 years inspiring young artists, France followed her husband, who’s also a teacher, and moved rurally.

“Because I had done secondary teaching for 13 years and … I was looking for a change, I said ‘yep, let’s do it’ so we packed up and we headed to the Kimberley.”

While she wasn’t sure how rural life would go, France says that she was excited to try something new. 

“…By the end of that first year we were up north [and] I was teaching a whole range of different things ... from Year 1 to Year 10, as well as a bit of adult education with some of the Aboriginal communities.”

Settling into the stride of things in WA, France found herself enjoying working in the primary sector.

“I went through a real process of change and I also was able to attend a lot of professional learning in the primary sector… 

“It was different to [working as] an arts specialist, I had the children for the whole day, so I could develop the whole child, rather than a snapshot.

“I really enjoyed having that time with the whole class so I could develop things cross curriculum, rather than being just in one topic…”

From there, France has also transitioned into the role of ICT coordinator, working as a curriculum leader and supporting other teachers, something she values.

“I can be so much more creative [in this role]. I know it sounds crazy, but in my profession I’m very creative in what I can do, how we can solve problems.”

Whether it’s taking teachers down to the Apple store for a learning session, organising workshops or coordinating volunteers from Curtin University to come into the school and help up-skill teachers, France thrives on helping teachers realise their potential. She is also quick to remember the people which have helped her along the way.

“From starting out in primary, to where I am today, it’s been a long journey, but along those years, I’ve always been very fortunate to have some fantastic people who have been there for me.”