Vikki Sibosado, a current Year 2 teacher at Cable Beach Primary School in Broome, WA, and previous Maths Coordinator/Maths Coach, is the well-deserving recipient of the June ORIGO Education Teacher of the Month award. Vikki, who has been at Cable Beach Primary School for over 11 years has mostly taught from year 1 to year 3 (as well as holding her other roles as a Maths Coordinator and Maths Coach). She was nominated ‘for her passion for mathematics and her genuine interest and commitment to giving children the highest level of education’.
Despite falling quite naturally into the Maths Coach and Maths Coordinator role as her career progressed, like many other teachers, Vikki was taught very differently to how she now teaches maths, and it wasn’t always something that she felt overly comfortable with.
“I don’t think it’s something that I did particularly well whilst at school myself,” said Vikki.
“I’ve always had an interest in maths, and I studied it whilst at university and continued to upskill throughout my career, but it never quite clicked for me until I moved into the Maths Coach role.
“I definitely strive to teach maths differently to how I was taught because I never made the connection when I was at school. If students can’t connect, there’s no value to what we do as teachers.”
Vikki’s desire for her students to connect to maths and understand it in everyday situations is something that is particularly helpful at Cable Beach Primary School.
“Being in Broome, the majority of our students are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander so there is the added challenge of language and remoteness. But our students have grown to love maths because they can connect with it — it’s meaningful.
“I apply maths to everyday situations, and by being hands-on and engaging, the students are able to relate maths to everything — because it really is everywhere.”
Vikki also takes it one step further and instead of thinking of remoteness as a challenge, she flips that thinking on its head.
“We have a great community and use the resources we have. Broome is a multicultural town, and we try to relate mathematics to events happening in the town. It’s a very positive approach.”
Cable Beach Primary use several ORIGO Education resources including Stepping Stones, Think Tanks, Big Books, Fundamentals games and more and this is something that has also assisted Vikki with making the connection with her students.
“Stepping Stones was already our whole school program when I stepped into the Maths Coach role several years ago. However, feedback I received from teachers was that they required further professional learning/development and support to effectively deliver the core program Stepping Stones. Through mentoring and supporting teachers in my role, it became apparent how it aligns perfectly with the Curriculum, and teachers we were able to use the ORIGO content and provide effective teaching to our students.
“We use a lot of the supplemental resources to help make our teaching more hands-on and engaging and our students are definitely on the pathway that allows them to build on their skills. I think one of the best aspects of the ORIGO resources is that they help develop teacher efficacy.”
Vikki’s passion for teaching and the fact that she genuinely has her students’ best interests at the forefront of her mind is evident when speaking to her.
“My favourite thing about being a teacher is the relationship I build with students.
“Every day is new and of course there are challenges, but I find it rewarding and cup-filling when students are engaged with maths, and they truly want to be here.
“Making the connection is crucial and my advice to teachers just starting out or struggling with maths would be to try and connect the lessons to something the students really enjoy and can relate to.
“It’s so important to allow your students to explore without the fear of failure and provide them with the opportunity to experiment.”
ORIGO Education congratulates Vikki on the well-deserved recognition.