May 24, 2018 by admin
EVEN as a child, Dimitra Gibb was destined to be a teacher.
“When other children were outside playing tiggy I was inside playing schools,” she laughs.
“I was always the teacher calling out the roll.”
Now a teacher at Keilor Park Kindergarten, Ms Gibb has been nominated for the ‘most inspiring teacher’ prize in the National Excellence in Teaching awards.
Keilor mother Rebecca Ballingall says it’s Ms Gibb’s rare knack for bringing out the best in every child that led mothers at the kindergarten to nominate her.
Ms Ballingall’s daughter Grace, 4, has autism. “I was really apprehensive about enrolling her into a mainstream kindergarten after we had a bad experience with a day care centre,” she says.
“But Dimitra adapted the kinder environment to help Grace settle in straight away. I love going to pick her up and her telling me she’s had the best day.”
Ms Gibb’s empathy for children with special needs is something close to her heart.
Both of her own children have additional learning needs, so she understands the importance of nurturing special-needs children to build up their confidence.
“Grace has just blossomed,” Ms Gibbs says.
“From the shy little girl that came in through the door at the start of the year to the little girl now is what makes being a teacher worthwhile.”
Ms Gibb says the death of her cousin’s six-year-old son from cancer last year was devastating for the family and
ignited a desire to treasure each child she teaches even more.
“Every child is different but they all have the right to an education,” she says.
“The children I teach are only at the start of their education and are mostly learning through play, but every day they amaze me.”
Winners will be announced mid-November.
Rare bond: Kindy teacher Dimitra Gibb with Grace. Picture: Scott McNaughton
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