Teaching Taylor

Host: Koordarrie Station
Written by Taylor Day – Governess, Koordarrie Station.

If you asked me six months ago what I’d be doing and where I’d be, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be where I am today. How clichéd really but it couldn’t be any truer. I completed year 12 last year and here I was thinking that that was hard, that that was a challenge. Who was I kidding?!

2.1My sister Jessie and I on my last few days of school.

My names Taylor Day and I’m the governess at ‘Koordarrie Station’ located in the Pilbara of Western Australia. I started here three months ago, beginning at the end of January. I’m not sure whether I’d gone crazy or if I was just simply stupid? I don’t know? Because I’ve never been somewhere so hot before and here I was thinking that home back in the east could get hot. But to be fair I actually wouldn’t know because if the temperature reached 28 degrees plus you’d switch the aircon on and hide inside for the day. Little did I know that life in the West would be such a change!

2.2Koordarrie Station looking a bit dry on a claypan.

I have always enjoyed working with children and always hoped that one day I would. I started my final year of school knowing that I wanted to have a gap year travelling and to be as far away from a classroom as possible, so it’s quite ironic really now that I’m a governess and back in the one place I didn’t want to be. But don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t believe how much I’m enjoying myself here.

I’m from a small town called Oaklands located just above the New South Wales and Victorian boarder. I had a few casual jobs around the area trying to earn as must money as I possibly could but I wanted to do something a little different, something more challenging. I always thought Nannying would be something that I’d really enjoy because I wouldn’t only be working with children but I’d also get the opportunity to travel. I imagined I’d do something like that overseas but I never really considered Australia let alone on a station. I found this job all thanks to my old nanny. She told me to like a page on Facebook of all things! So I did and posted a little about myself and what I was looking to do. And before I knew it, and I mean that quite literally, I was at ‘Koordarrie Station’.

2.3Koordarrie right before some rain.

I’m so glad that Kristie told me long before I arrived that it wasn’t going to be an easy job. As a result I was able to mentally prepare for the many tough times that it would and has brought. I was never worried about being home sick as I was a boarding student for my last four years of schooling. So at the moment the distance hasn’t bothered me as yet and I don’t think it will. Although the fact I was a student myself not all that long ago, I’ve walked into the classroom having to be the complete opposite of a learner and be a teacher. This, and I won’t lie, has been a mighty challenge! I have full respect for my teachers now because I didn’t at all realise how much time and effort they put into each of their lessons. I slowly and pretty stupidly learnt that planning your lessons dramatically reduces the amount of drama that occurs throughout the day. So if you’re looking to be a governess let that be your first lesson.

2.5My students hard at work.

2.6Joey doing his Air Lesson, look at that concentration.

On a day to day basis you are faced with multiple challenges, and when you’re trying to implement a behavioural system into the schoolroom it can be quite a stressful day. Not that I need a behavioural system because I’ve been quite lucky in the fact I have three really well behaved kids. It’s just that on the odd day when we’re all a bit on the tired side and not willing to get done what needs doing it can turn out to be a very long day. On days like these that’s when the strikers come out and if they’re lucky the odd lolly, and their behaviour dramatically changes (hint number two). Although in saying all of this these days do come few and far between.

The school offers a lot of support and between Kristie and the kid’s teachers I can always ask about whatever I need to. The good days are filled with high quality work, big, proud smiles topped with silly giggles, and if I’m fortunate the odd hug. The proud smiles when the kids complete something they’re more than happy with are the moments you realise you’re actually not doing too bad of a job. They help to remind you what you’re actually achieving, and that’s giving these kids skills that they will use in years to come and well after. They’re simple skills which you often forget about like holding your pencil correctly or sitting in your chair upright as well as everything else. These are the things you remind them about a hundred times a day so you have to keep in mind that one day it will definitely pay off.

2.4You can never get them off that trampoline.

Another thing which I’ve learnt especially since working with children, you often assume kids know everything that you do. That is definitely not the case. You must keep reminding yourself that they’re only in primary school and they’re still only learning the basics. I’d be explaining to the kids how to do something, something that you would consider as common sense, and they either wouldn’t understand or it would just take a while to grasp the concept. You’d be sitting there thinking to yourself this is really not all that hard and then bam, it would hit you right in the face – they’re only learning. They don’t know the things you do. Just because you’ve finished school, geez Taylor! Whenever this happens I always feel so guilty so in order to reduce my guiltiness I might give them a sneaky lolly but don’t tell anyone that . . . !

I’m not the same person I was three months ago and again how clichéd. But honestly I feel more mature in the way I think and go about things. I have a lot more patience and understanding of life away from home and being here at ‘Koordarrie Station’ has taught me this. I’m not going to lie and say that this job is easy because it’s not. It’s quite the opposite. But I believe that the tough times are what make this experience all the more better.

Kristie and Rory as well as the kids haven’t kicked me out just yet so I mustn’t be doing too bad a job!

2.7The kids and I.