Get to know Year 3's Markus Munday

Since stepping foot on campus as our Year 3 teacher last year, Markus Munday's impact on our Junior School has already been felt. After recently being named The Educator's Rising Star 2022, Markus shared more about himself, why it's essential to know your students for who they are as people and his ultimate goal as a teacher.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. At school, I loved helping my peers. My teachers were supportive and enabled me to discover a love for learning. I still remember many of my teachers and feel their impact today. So, choosing a career in teaching was simple! I know that school can be challenging for some, but my number one goal is to make sure my students love being at school each day.

How would you summarise your teaching vision in one sentence?

Empowering students to take ownership over their learning, achieve their personal best, and celebrate all successes, no matter how big or small.

Tell us about one of your favourite memories as a teacher.

There are too many to count! I think the best times are when a student grasps a concept or makes an achievement.

In my previous role in Victoria, I spent many weeks teaching online throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns. I'll never forget the sound of cheers and excitement as my students lined up at the door to return to the classroom. Not only were they eager to learn but to reunite with their friends and me as their teacher too. The connections we build each day at school make it a special place, and it's hard to maintain these relationships when we're only communicating across screens.

With the long list of tasks and demands teachers face, it's easy to forget the little things. Moments like these underline why my job is so important.

What do you remember most about your teachers and school experience?

My teachers got to know me as a person – the things I liked, didn't like, my family, strengths and weaknesses. I felt truly cared about and, therefore, motivated to learn.

As a teacher, I know that building relationships and trust with students is critical. When students feel understood and supported, they are empowered to be their best selves and motivated to learn. I've made it a priority to understand my students, and I know about their families, their dogs' and cats' names, what they do on the weekends, the foods they like and dislike and their motivators and triggers.

How do you build links between classroom lessons and real-world implications?

Incursions and excursions are a great way to broaden students' learning experiences. A recent virtual incursion with our local MP, Celia Hammond, gave our students a peek into the importance of communities, roles and responsibilities.

In each lesson, I create activities for my students to practice their new skills at home. They recently measured the size of their toys, ordered by scale, and took a photo to present to the class. Without linking topics to real-world implications, it's easy for students to lack a meaningful understanding of what they've learned.

I also find opportunities to demonstrate examples of what we've been learning in class. While baking a cake for my nephew's birthday, I took photos as I finished each step. As a class, we looked at the pictures to unpack how we can create ordered instructions and segment information.

By connecting classroom lessons to things students do every day, they absorb what they're learning and feel empowered to apply their skills.

What motivates you to get out of bed each morning?

My students are my biggest motivator. Being part of their learning journey is such a privilege.

I'm lucky to be part of a team that encourages innovation and I always look forward to bringing new ideas to life with fellow Year 3 teacher Nina Eleftheriou.

Each day at work, I'm fortunate to learn from the best – our Head of Junior School Maria Hodges, Deputy Head of Junior School Amanda Richie and Dean of Teaching and Learning (Junior School) Warwick Norman.

You've told us all about your teaching life – what do you do with the rest of your time?

I'm very family orientated, so I love spending time with them. I love cooking – Mexican food in particular. I'm also a bit of a bookworm!

Each fortnight, I read one book for enjoyment and the other to learn something new. Student wellbeing is a topic I like reading about and is where I've gained many valuable tips, from classroom strategies to emotional regulation. I'm currently enjoying Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Although, my all-time favourite read is probably Hillary Clinton's memoir, What Happened.

Want to meet more of our dedicated Junior School team? Join us on an upcoming Junior School tour.