15 July 2022

Giving students agency and spreading kindness through creativity

| Claire Fenwicke
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Bega High School teacher Rebecca Lupton and Cricut ambassador Wendy Minto adorning the school with kindness. Photo: Supplied.

When Bega High School teacher Rebecca Lupton entered a national competition, she wanted to help spread kindness, celebrate creativity and make learning fun at her school.

“I wanted to help our school affirm its identity and give the students the chance to personalise things themselves,” she said.

Her idea led to the school winning a $5,000 Cricut prize pack, with teachers taking time during their winter break to make her vision a reality.

She wanted to use the Cricut machines to take steps towards overcoming prejudice and boosting morale with visual displays of positivity.

“For the entry I placed an emphasis on wanting students to feel better about where they are, to give them agency … I want the kids to then put their own ideas around the school,” Ms Lupton said.

“They’ve been through a lot in the past few years, experienced fires and lockdowns, and I wanted to make school a happier place to be.”

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Teachers took part in a three-hour workshop to create visual displays for classroom windows, as well as t-shirts, laptop decals and bookmarks.

“The English rooms have windows that look onto a corridor, but because kids would tap on the windows and the like we always have the curtains closed,” Ms Lupton said.

“So now we’ve put pictures on the windows, inspirational quotes, I also have a vision of a tree that can gradually be built on as the year progresses.”

Teachers also took the chance to create the school’s logo and room numbers to place on doors, as well as education-themed coffee mugs.

The prize pack included three Cricut machines, vinyl and tools which are being used around the school, particularly for the English, art and industrial art classes.

“But I’ve used it for other classes too – I also teach geography and I’ve created a globe printout for teaching there,” Ms Lupton said.

“It could be used to print quotes for the history classrooms, there are so many options, and it’s just another way to show the information.”

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Cricut ambassador Wendy Minto held the workshop for the Bega High teachers, and said she was blown away by their enthusiasm.

“I’m also a school teacher, so it’s wonderful to know that this will spread and be used by the students as well,” she said.

“The fact they came along in their holidays – it was great to see their wonder.”

The teachers eagerly await their students’ return next week to see the results.

“Back to school should be a warm and kind environment, and I hope we’ve created that,” Ms Lupton said.

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