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Teacher Tuesday: Danielle Wansborough

Feature Image - Teacher Tuesday Danielle Wansborough

Madame Danielle Wansborough has a broad experience in the education sector, from student recruitment and marketing in the higher education sector, to teaching languages in both Primary and Secondary classes. Madame Wansborough’s love for language and her students shows through her lessons and it inspires her students to work harder on their French.

I trained as a Secondary French and Spanish Teacher in the United Kingdom, graduating in 2014. This followed on from a 15-year career in higher education student recruitment and marketing in my home country of Canada, as well as the United Arab Emirates and the UK. I never meant to follow that career path, but after I finished my Master’s in Interdisciplinary Humanities through the medium of French in 1998, I got a good job offer from my alma mater and decided to take a year’s break to travel around Canada recruiting students. I had an amazing time running events and meeting famous alumni in that time, such as Carrie Fisher, her mum Debbie Reynolds, Vanessa Redgrave, and many others (including UAE royalty) and just kept getting recruited for more and more interesting and challenging roles.

After I had my son, I found the career trajectory I was on was not very family-friendly, and the novelty had worn off. I received funding to train to teach Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) as there was a shortage of teachers in the UK, so I was able to sign up without sacrificing too much financially. There you must be able to teach two languages to at least Year 10, so I had to teach myself Spanish at the same time. That experience gave me a good insight into second language learning, as I had grown up bilingual. Although my funding was for Secondary, I had placements in a couple of Primary schools and loved it as the students are always willing to have a go and have fun while learning! I love the connections that can be made between languages and inter-cultural competence as well as history, breaking the barriers of isolation and showing how multicultural and integrated the world we live in really is.

We moved to Australia and Bunbury in 2015, and I was offered an education marketing role at the TAFE and briefly took it on. However, my heart was not in it, so I gave up a secure, permanent, full-time job to take on a contract as a Special Needs Education Assistant so that I could get back into education and learn more about the Australian system. I joined BCGS to cover the Head of Languages, for her long service leave in Semester 2 of 2017 and knew I had found my home. I continued to take contracts as a Primary French Teacher, Special Needs Education Assistant, Language Assistant, and relief teacher and moved my son to the School in Term 1, 2019. 2020 marks my first year as a permanent teacher and I currently teach French to Kindergarten through to Year 9.

I felt like I became a member of a family when I joined Grammar. Part of this is getting to know the students outside of the classroom through Home Group and co-curricular activities, but it really is a special place when it comes to staff too. The students are polite and friendly and often thank me for lessons. They say “bonjour Madame” when I see them outside of class. At first, I was unsure about whether I wanted to work at the same school that my son attends (as much for his sake as mine!) but his teachers and classmates showed amazing acceptance and care from day one. I love all the opportunities the School gives us, including the fantastic environment we all get to work in every day, the embedded music program, and the pastoral focus of all the staff.

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