Counting her blessings
With a passion for teaching and helping others, Margaret Ford has been a business and accounting teacher at TAFE Queensland for over 20 years.
Margaret’s passion for teaching is contagious. She fell in love with it at an early age and kept developing her skills and interests in the field throughout her long and successful career. Now she has a unique ability to make her students feel comfortable, creating a safe space for them to learn.
“When you're a teacher, you get to see a side of each student that maybe other people in their lives don't get to see. Students are very trusting of their teacher. They will tell their teacher things maybe that they wouldn't tell close family members,” Margaret said.
"You're not just developing their skills, you're developing them in their confidence. A lot of students that I've had over the years coming to TAFE had very low self-esteem. So it's not just working with their skill level, it's getting them ready to get out there and start up that business that they wanted to start,” she said.
Margaret’s students come from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and she's witnessed countless of them flourish in TAFE Queensland’s unique learning environment
"In recent times I've had quite a variety of ages in my classes. Sometimes people in their early 60s who have done amazing things across their working career but there's been events that have happened in their life where they've have lost their confidence, so they need to rebuild and then get back out there in the workplace," Margaret said.
"And then you've got really young people who, for whatever reason, didn't really succeed at school. And they're in a totally different learning environment being with TAFE Queensland, and in a classroom where you've got a wide variety of ages of students they just blossom."
Margaret’s love for teaching is deeply ingrained in her.
“Teaching for me has just been a part of my life. My mother was a commerce teacher and worked for Education Queensland. I'm a trained commerce teacher and just love helping people, I've got a passion for taking people from where they're at to somewhere else,” she continued.
Teaching is not only as a profession but also a personal development journey to Margaret.
“It's a developmental thing. Over the years I've come across people who started the study of teaching and then decided no, I couldn't handle it. I just fell into loving it and kept going and kept learning and kept developing my skills and my interests. It's been a long journey and it's been a great journey.”
Margaret’s love for teaching is rooted in the joy of sharing knowledge and seeing her students achieve their goals. The thanks she gets from her students is evidence that she's doing a great job.
"Over the years, I've been the sort of teacher who will do more than what I'm supposed to, more than what is expected. That always has a payoff in that students are grateful that you've stopped them from walking out the door or pushed them to get that the last assessment done and and get the certificate," Margaret said.
"People are genuinely grateful and that's a really good feeling, cause that means I've done my job."
One thing Margaret is certain of is the quality of education and training that TAFE Queensland provides.
"I always recommend that students study with TAFE Queensland. I know there are quality staff that they work with, quality teachers, and we have quality product. We're not a tick and flick organisation — as a student you have to earn the right to be given that result at the end of the day, and the role of all TAFE teachers is to help you along that journey to make sure you do achieve."
Margaret's unwavering dedication and commitment to her students throughout her long career is inspirational.
"I've just had a great career working with TAFE Queensland over quite a number of years and been able to do lots of amazing things. I've taught in classrooms with large numbers of students, I've delivered online training, I've worked with trainees, I've conducted recognition of prior learning, I'm doing virtual delivery. So TAFE Queensland has been great career working with amazing people. I’ve had a wonderful journey, I really have. I’ve just enjoyed it so much,” Margaret concluded.