Guardian of the classroom

Written by Kerrie Alexander

When students at Aldridge high feel like it’s just all too much there’s one teacher they know they can turn to.

Adam Hodgkinson is a clear favourite in the eyes of the Years 7 to 12 music students and it’s easy to see why.

Affectionately known to the students as “Hodgo”, the 39-year-old has a more mellow approach to teaching with the belief that providing a relaxed environment for the teenage students helps them to be more engaged and fosters confidence, teamwork and positive life-long relationships.

Especially for those students who have low self-esteem and self-doubt, with negative outside influences like social media casting a shadow over their confidence.

“The one thing I’d love to change is definitely teenage self-doubt or/and self-esteem levels,” Adam said.

“When starting out in the creative arts, I often show a few positive clips about the power of authenticity and straight away jump onto any self-doubt or comparisons they are making based on social media etc.

”So many students live with far too much self-doubt and if I can play the smallest role in boosting their confidence, I find that far more rewarding than any grade.”

He wants to instil the message that their position in life will always find a way to work itself out and, while getting good grades is important, believing in yourself is also key.

Adam took some time to find his own calling, having gone from other full-time work as Retail Manager at Sanity Music, to TAFE fitness courses and then finally being drawn to teaching in 2006.

He has since completed both a Bachelor of Secondary Education and a Diploma of Sports Development.

“I made the transition from 50/50 P.E/Music teacher to full time Music in 2010, and each and every day I work with the most enthusiastic students who are supported by a number of fantastic Aldridge staff.

“To all the ATAR number lookerupperers (OP ranking) today and during these weird times I wish them to use the number/s and letters as they need it, but also remind them that their overall position in life is far more important.

“I hope they each find the thing/things/pursuit/pursuits that THEY will enjoy on a day to day basis; whether that’s work, study, and everything in between.

“The key is … don’t stop swimming and create your own timeline for success by simply comparing yourself to no one!”.

Adam said the epitome of teaching was seeing students achieve at heights they didn’t think was possible.

“Working with talented students who aren’t yet aware of how amazing they are is the best part of my job,” Adam said.

“My main message is often to not take yourself too seriously and hopefully demonstrate that in my teaching method.”

He said being able to adapt to different situations was also an important role for teachers to play.

“I’m known to have multiple characters that I adopt for stress-free moments and to apply some humour when needed.”