Mrs Tracie Howell has always had a passion for Literature and Creative Writing. When she started her teaching career 28 years ago, she enjoyed working with young adults and has not looked back. Spending the last 11 years at our School, Mrs Howell has become an integral part of our Community.
I had always wanted to be a writer, so after completing my Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Journalism and Creative Writing and a minor in Literature, I did some work as a journalist, with the highlight being at The Sunday Times. After a few years, I decided to complete a Diploma of Education.
Once I started teaching, I found that I enjoyed working with teenagers even more than working in the media. This was unexpected as I had never really considered teaching before. The decision to stick with teaching has never really been a decision; I love that every day is different and what makes teaching challenging is also what makes it rewarding.
I have been teaching since 1993. After completing my university studies in Perth, my first posting as a teacher was at Bunbury Senior High School. I then spent five years working at numerous schools including Newton Moore Senior High School, Australind Senior High School, Harvey Agricultural School and Safety Bay Senior High School before gaining permanency at Collie Senior High School.
After returning from maternity leave, I resumed a position at Bunbury Senior High School for four years. It was in my fourth year there that I saw that Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School needed an English Teacher. My daughters were in primary school at the time and my wish to have them attend the school inspired me to apply for the position.
At the time I thought I was moving for them, when in fact it ended up being the best decision for my own career as well. My first year at BCGS was in 2009 when my daughters were in Years 4 and 6.
The School is a unique community; it really feels like a family. The staff genuinely care and know all the students and each other. The School is extremely busy, but busy in a positive way. There are so many opportunities for both students and staff, and it has been fantastic to be involved in so many of these throughout my 12 years at BCGS.
Every year the main highlight is seeing the students improve and achieve in English, but beyond the classroom there have also been a few other highlights. These have been spending time getting to know students in a different light on camps.
As a parent, we have hosted students from other Australians schools and from India through Round Square. I also did a service trip with students to Bali; watching our students teach English to Indonesian children was a heart-warming experience.
I have been on Professional Development trips to Melbourne and the United States of America, which have all been outstanding experiences and helped me continue to adapt English programs and approaches in the classroom.
It was also a highlight to share the school experience with my daughters. They have finished school now and are teachers themselves.