“This award has been life-changing for us!”

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Kate Simes and Nikki Bridgman received the Minister’s Arts Education Award

They have passion, are extremely professional and have a desire for every student to have a great arts education: Nikki Bridgman and Kate Simes have been recognised as outstanding teachers of the Arts at primary and secondary schools in SA. They received the Minister’s Arts Education Awards at the last World Teachers’ Day Celebration in 2017. Now that the next World Teachers’ Day is coming up, what did these two dedicated Arts educators do with their $5,000 award?

“I attended the International Society for Music Education (ISME) seminar in Prague”, Nikki reports. She works as a Primary Teacher at Coorara Primary School in Morphett Vale. “It far surpassed any of my expectations. I had the opportunity to work together with professors, doctors, teachers and musicians from around the world.” Kate is a Secondary Teacher at Loxton High School and travelled to Japan to develop a greater understanding of this country’s art traditions and diverse culture. “This award has been life changing for me! We met practicing artists, visited exhibitions and learnt a lot about Japanese history and its impact on the artwork of Japan. It allowed us to focus on building Asian Perspectives into the Visual Arts at Loxton High School.

Both teachers bring their experiences back to their schools so that their students benefit as well. Nikki began to implement improvisation elements in her music teaching and Kate is running Asian Perspectives units of work at her school.

Nikki and Kate have shown that arts education is about creating artwork, playing music and performing in front of an audience. But it’s also about developing resilience, perseverance, confidence, creativity and abstract thought amongst the young minds of today. “This award acknowledges the hard work we do as educators and how important the Arts are to all students and their learning”.

This year Educators SA is hosting the World Teachers’ Day Celebration at the Convention Centre in Adelaide on the 26th of October. This event acknowledges the best and finest educators in South Australia. The Awards include the 2019 Minister’s Arts Education Award, the Early Career Teacher Award, innovative professional association, the universities and each of the 60 Educators SA member associations present their own award to outstanding educators in their associations.

Partners with Educators SA for this event are University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of SA, the Teachers’ Registration Board, Credit Union SA and Andersons Solicitors.