Our amazing teacher aide Penny Stafford-Bush is a dedicated thespian who directs our college musical and acts in local theatre productions. She’s also a Strathallan parent who’s had two children go through the school.
What made you choose to be a teacher aide?
The job chose me! After lots of other careers, I trained to work with special needs students at my children’s primary school. The opportunity came up several years later to use these skills in a College environment at ACG Strathallan – here I am!
What makes a good teacher aide?
A good teacher aide is able to listen to a student’s voice and help them understand what the school curriculum is trying to teach them. I enjoy the challenge of having to adapt my teaching style to work with Year 7s all the way to Year 12s and being responsive to their individual learning difficulties.
It helps that I am interested in drama because I can use my creative skills to try different methods and often act out situations for youngsters to understand.
Tell us about your involvement in musical theatre
ACG Strathallan is producing the show Oliver! in June this year and I have the privilege of directing it.
Although I have been involved in theatre all my life in various countries, it still remains nerve-wracking and exciting for me. I have been known to burst into song or wear a crazy outfit and have, for the last few years, played Mrs Faulty in a local dinner theatre production.
You’ve been both a parent and a teacher at ACG Strathallan – what are the best things about the school?
I value the friendly staff we have at the college, their depth of knowledge, and knowing so many of the students.
What are your children up to now?
They’re grownups now. My daughter is studying at the University of Otago and my son is working in the landscaping industry.
What is something we might not know about you?
Having lived in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong I really appreciate the variety of greenery we enjoy in this country. My family and I have contributed to that by planting several thousand trees on our property for generations to enjoy long after we are gone. I wake up every morning listening to the various birds enjoying a happy habitat.