Meet Laura Yeo, Learning Support

Laura Yeo is one of our amazing Learning Support teachers. Working alongside our teachers, many of our parents may not have met Laura. Her amazing ability to use a collaborative and consultative approach for our students, their parents and carers means they are actively involved in the decision-making process. 

Finishing her studies in 2010, as a PDHPE teacher Laura has retrained with a focus on Learning support. Laura still has fun in our PDHPE department as well as sharing the role of year 10 advisor. She is a valued team member across our School. 

How is your classroom arranged to optimise learning? How do you like to teach?
Often I am working with small groups or one to one, so our classroom is set up to suit the individual needs of Learning Support students. We have single desks located around the edge of the room with the main table in the middle that is used for small group work.  Students can engage in small discussions whilst they are facing one another, or they can find their own desk for individual learning.
I like to use a variety of strategies from teacher directed and modelling to student centred learning incorporating technology to maximise learning. Depending on the task I will determine the best teaching method for every student to ensure I’m meeting their individual needs.

I have learnt that every child is different, It's my role to make sure that their needs are met in a learning environment. 

What are your favorite types of lesson plans to create?
My favourite lesson plans are the fun interactive lessons involving the students and myself. Building positive relationships with my students allows me to get the best out of my students. I like to start the lesson with a quick fun activity to promote enjoyment and laughter. I want the students to want to come to my class and enjoy each others company as well as working hard. I like to divide the lesson into sections, so the students know what is expected of them and use a variety of activities to keep the students engaged. I have high expectations, but also ensure I am realistic with my expectations for all learners and their academic ability.

For you, what are the most exciting aspects of teaching and your work?
Everyday is so diverse, its exciting starting a new day and engaging with students as soon as I walk through the door, I love when students go out of their way to run up and tell me stories of success. I absolutely love getting to know my students and how they learn in the classroom, what they enjoy outside the classroom and working with them to achieve their personal goals. 

I love influencing our young people and encouraging them to be the best they can. I love watching them grow throughout the year and simply coming in everyday to say Hello Mrs Yeo with a smile on their face.

Who has given you the most support in learning to be an effective teacher?

I have been extremely fortunate with my head teachers over the years, Paul Davis and Peter Maxwell as my PDHPE Head Teachers and currently Debbie Windred. They have been outstanding leaders and role models. They have trusted me and given me opportunities as a young teacher to teach senior classes and be a year advisor. They have always given me advice and pushed me to be better, to continue learning and to keep asking questions. They have placed me in uncomfortable situations and thrown me in the deep end, to allow me to be adaptable in any teaching scenario. I love watching teachers and incorporating skills, so I can be the best teacher for my students. Currently Debbie Windred is my HoD (Head of Department), her knowledge is impeccable and I learn so much from just listening. Her kind nature and high expectations pushes me to work hard and step out of my comfort zone so she can be proud of her staff.

Who do you take inspiration from (famous or not) and why?
I’m inspired mainly by our students and staff. I love this community and it inspires me to be the best I can. I get excited coming to school every day and working with my students. These students give me a purpose, they are the ones to motivate me to create the best learning environment for them and to ensure a safe environment where they can seek guidance at any time about any scenario. I want them to love coming to my class and I want them to work hard for me and reach their goals with my guidance. Our students are the reason I have so much passion.  

How do you encourage involvement of students and parents in the school and your classroom?
In Learning Support we are very lucky to have a close relationship with our families. We have a collaborative meeting at the start of the year to build relationships with both the student and the parents. Through regular emails with updates of what our students are doing throughout the term, this continues to foster positive relationships with our families. In the classroom, my main priority is safe environment and  creating positive relationships between myself and students alike so that they are comfortable enough to  be involved in any activity. 

What traits do you hope to inspire in your students? What do you wish for their future selves?
I want my students to be the best they can be in all aspects of life. To be kind, caring and inclusive. I want students to have high expectations for themselves and to work hard to reach their goals. No goal is too big.

What do you think has been the most difficult challenge in your career?
I graduated as a PDHPE teacher, however, after having three busy little daughters I decided to return to the classroom as a Learning Support teacher. I made this choice as I felt I could have more impact working with students in a smaller setting and have a better connection with them. It has been challenging learning the ins and outs of Special Education whilst being a mum and juggling family life as well as ensuring my lessons are continually to a high standard for each student and their differing needs.