Staff Spotlight – Emily Jenkins

Meet Emily Jenkins, Prep Bilbies and Prep Possums Class Teacher

Posted on in General

What do you most enjoy about teaching Prep? 

Teaching Prep children is such a joy. The unique and heartfelt way in which they view the world is infectiously beautiful. They are thirsty to learn and engage with the world around them. But they are also very young and need that loving support and guidance as they navigate relationships and the discovery of who they are as a unique individual.

What does a typical day in the classroom look like for you?

I have the privilege of spending a day with our gorgeous Prep Bilbies and a day with the divine Prep Possums. The girls always bound through the door eager to learn. Our typical days are consistent with structure and routine – with specific blocks dedicated to literacy and numeracy. But they also allow for the development of oral language, curiosity and creative play—and a lot of hugs.

What has your year level taught you?

Prep has taught me that there is joy in everything, we just need to seek it out. Life is a tapestry of experiences. Some challenge us, pushing us to our limit, and some are pure light and laughter. I certainly don’t take for granted the privilege of being a part of these precious little people’s lives.

Who or what motivated you to pursue a career in education?

My mother was a teacher for over 30 years, and she was incredibly good at it. She dedicated most of her career to the education and support of children with specific physical and developmental needs. She was an advocate for those precious kids and their families. I certainly can only hope to leave a mark like that.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding parts are the moments of impact you don’t realise you have made. I taught Grade 3 at Dominic College before the birth of my third child and had a particular little boy in my class who I remember very well. He had extremely low self-esteem and school and friendships were often overwhelming and challenging. I used to tell him that he was, and always will be, enough. That I ‘saw’ him for the talented and loving boy that he was. Several years later as I sat in the Principal’s office, waiting for an interview at Dominic after the birth of my fourth child, I began flipping through a yearbook. There he was, now a secondary student, and all grown up. He had been asked, ‘who was your favourite teacher in primary school and why?’ He had answered, “Mrs Jenkins, because she always taught me to be myself’. Every challenging day in my career was worth that moment.

Can you share something that your class might not know about you?

My darling girls know a great deal about me, as I am prone to a chat! But if I had to think of something, perhaps it might be that I have seen the pyramids of Giza, climbed to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, and had a pet goat as a child.

Describe your ideal weekend.

Spending time with my husband and children. With four children aged between five and 11, life is certainly busy and never dull. Add a touch of sunshine and it’s perfect.

Go-to coffee (or tea) order? 

I actually don’t drink coffee, although I do love the smell of it. I do quite like a chai latte…

Who do you admire?

Admiration is something I consistently feel day to day, for a great many people. But if I were to pick one it would be my grandfather Archie. He was a school principal and a father of six. He was also a soldier who fought and was taken to prison during the Second World War. Archie endured unimaginable terror but survived the war and came home to marry my dear grandmother, Helen, a St Mary’s old girl. His experiences, although too hard to ever truly comprehend, partly shaped the lives of his children and grandchildren. He taught us the true gift of forgiveness and gratitude. He lived a life defined by love and an inexhaustible kindness. I carry him and his invaluable lessons with me always.


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St Mary's College is located on the traditional lands of the muwinina people of the South East Nation. We acknowledge and deeply respect the palawa people, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community, and all Elders past and present. We are committed to learning alongside our students and community in this place, nipaluna, and support the continued sharing of knowledge and culture.