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Meet the Amazing Mrs O... One of the Faces of Calrossy Kindy

After being called Mrs Marmalade and Mrs Homealone by her new Kindergarten students… Catrina O'Mullane is now affectionately known as Mrs O by the Junior School students.

After more than two decades in education, she has found herself at Calrossy and with the privilege of teaching Kindy.

“Every child in your room is someone’s whole world,” that is the best teaching advice Mrs Catrina O’Mullane says she has ever received.

Mrs O’Mullane is one of Calrossy’s much-loved Kindergarten teachers and has been working at the School for one and a half years.  She has been teaching for 25 years including schools in Moree (St Philomena’s) and Tamworth (St Nicholas).

“I liked the idea of working with children. I liked the idea of not working in an office and no day would be the same,” she says.

Every day is definitely different as a teacher of Kindy students.

“There is endless love, random questions and never-ending excitement. I love at the start of Kindergarten when the recess bell goes and some students put on their bags thinking it’s home time. Kindergarten students always have the most amazing lunch boxes in the school, complete with love notes and jokes from mums and dads. I love that in Kindergarten when it is my birthday and they ask how old I am, I say ‘21’ and they believe me.”

Mrs O’Mullane completed a Bachelor of Education from University of New England and also has a number of Post Graduate Certificates ESL and Religious Education.

It was through her children that she first connected with Calrossy.

“My older children were in high school and I began to notice the Junior School. It always looked to me like the students were receiving an education that was well rounded and targeting the whole child. The students looked so happy and engaged that I knew I wanted to be a part of that," says Mrs O'Mullane.

The rest as they say is history and now Mrs O’Mullane is a familiar and very important face for many Calrossy families and their little person in their first year of “big school”.

Mrs O’Mullane’s teaching style starts with a simple philosophy, every child deserves a champion.

“Every child deserves a champion. Relationships are the most important aspect of teaching and it is my aim to connect with every child in my classroom.  I love singing and dancing in my room. Art is always a favourite activity. I love reading with my class. There is nothing better when the students discover the joy of reading. That lightbulb moment is priceless, when it all comes together,” she explains.

“I like to build relationships with my students. Once we have established a relationship the learning happens organically. I like to find out what interests the students and tap into that so that they are having the opportunity to explore the things they love.”

And the things that they love at this age are very diverse.

“I have students who love animals, dancing, farming, fishing, sport and art. Having grown up on a farm and having children of my own with similar interests I am able to connect on many different levels with the children I teach.”

“It is a huge responsibility teaching Kindergarten. I believe it is the most important school year. If we get it right and students love school and love learning then we set them up for continued success throughout their school life. Parents are entrusting us with their most precious possession and it is something I truly value.”

While the challenges of Kindy are definitely different from high school, so are the rewards.

“The rewards are the endless love, smiles and knowing that you can be a part of a young person’s life in a positive way”.

Her advice to students is simple.

“In a world where you can be anything BE KIND.”

When the mother of three is not working or being mum she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and going to the beach. Her interest in gardening is something she also explores at school.

"I am in charge of the Garden Club in the Junior School. I had very big shoes to fill after taking over the club from Mr Tockuss. With the help of the students, I believe we have made this a happy and exciting place for every child from Kindergarten to Year 6. We have had some wonderful wins at the Tamworth Show and the students love learning about plants, nature and sustainability. I am also helping the Environment leaders come up with ways to remind the school how to be sustainable, look after the worm farms and ways to care for the environment,” Mrs O’Mullane says.

“I love being part of a school that teaches the whole child. Where success is celebrated and the students are happy. I love that the Junior school runs lunch time clubs to cater for students who may struggle on the playground or have specific interests. I love that we offer music, languages, sport and that we give back to the community. I love the students.”

“I am very proud to say I work at Calrossy," says Mrs O'Mullane.