Christ the King School teacher Kim Fannin is committed to creating a classroom environment centred on the holistic child. She says it's one of the greatest challenges teachers are faced with today.
To meet the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs of students, Kim says it's important she gets to know each child as an individual.
"Building a relationship with them and focusing on their individual needs is crucial," she says.
She says connecting with her students and cementing that bond has many benefits to educating the young minds at Christ the King School, especially in setting students up for success.
Today's world puts a lot of pressure on children – and their parents and caregivers. All are navigating, without a guidebook, the highly structured environment many families have to adopt to balance work and family life in competitive, high cost-of-living time and the unstructured, often unchartered, landscapes of social media, complex relationship structures and ever-changing social mores.
Kim says that pressure can make children and adults feel burnt out and cause them to disengage with what education could offer them, especially if they haven't been given an opportunity to learn all the healthy life skills that can help them copy and event thrive when stresses are high.
"Developing a personal relationship with my students is therefore incredibly important," Kim says.
"It helps them feel safe, it gives them a voice and it supports them in building creativity, adaptability, problem solving and resilience through respectful communication."
In fact, relationship building with her students is one of Kim's favourite things about teaching.
"I love watching my students reach their social, emotional and academic goals," she says.
In the classroom Kim teaches using inquiry processes. She says this process encourages students to use their imaginations, create and be in awe of their own learning.
"Watching my students question, seek answers and use their creativity and ideas to problem solve real-world issues is so rewarding."
Away from the classroom Kim finds the water calming and restorative. The mother of three and grandmother of five loves the beach, boating, fishing, swimming and walking the Esplanade on the Redlands Coast. She also enjoys getting lost in a good book and exploring new places.
Kim joined Christ the King in 2009 and one of the things she has noticed in her 15 years is the school's strong sense of community.
"Christ the King welcomes diversity and celebrates the accomplishments of all," Kim says.
"We embrace traditions and the importance of the history of the school, but we also welcome new ideas."
Each child who passes through Kim's classroom comes away feeling valued and safe to have a voice, to express their ideas and their thoughts.