Teachers learnt from specialists

By Tyla Harrington

ABOUT 20 teachers from across Victoria travelled to Echuca last week to learn from the best.

And the best, in this instance, was Echuca Specialist School.

Victorian Applied Learning Association (a professional teacher’s association for Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, VCAL) chief executive Helene Rooks, based in Melbourne, said it was a great opportunity to learn about VCAL programs not only in Echuca but in Wangaratta and Bendigo too.

‘‘Echuca is a fantastic town and the community is very supportive to their special school,’’ she said.

‘‘We were here last year for a short visit. The program is a network opportunity and allows teachers to support each other.

‘‘Teachers often work in isolation especially in special schools and VCAL. It’s about sharing, making connections and celebrating as well.’’

Helene said learning did not have to take place in the classroom: ‘‘Part of VCAL is you need to form partnerships with the community and the partnerships that Echuca Specialist School have formed are above and beyond,’’ she said.

ESS principal Paul Marshall said he was proud of his school’s program: ‘‘We thank Bendigo and Wangaratta for sharing their program with us too,’’ he said.