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St Peters Springfield teacher, Nick Brayne, loves his job!

Ever since he joined the school in 2010, Nick has embraced the school, its close-knit community and the Lutheran ethos.

In addition to being a Year 3 teacher, he has immersed himself in the sporting programs and spiritual life of the school, and on a personal note, last year, he became a father to daughter, Emilie.

All this makes Nick a very happy and busy individual.

Nick’s pathway to being a teacher was not always straightforward. While he had an interest in teaching, he decided to sit the Public Service exam and worked in social services for about eight years before he enrolled to study primary teaching, majoring in Physical Education.

Initially, Nick said he wanted to teach secondary students, but had a change of heart.

‘I always thought about doing PE teaching and I thought about teaching secondary school,’ said Nick, who has a passion for sport.

However, his part-time work with Queensland Little Athletics made him realise he wanted to work more with primary school students.

Nick said there was also another important influence in his decision to become a teacher.

‘A friend of mine started up a program so I started teaching learn to swim. That experience really made me want to do teaching even more!’ Nick said.

Nick’s first placement in 2004, was as a Year 3 teacher at Toowoomba Prep School. He stayed for six years before being ‘called’ back to Brisbane.

Now in his seventh year at St Peters, Nick explained he taught Year 6 in combination with Physical Education (HPE) classes in the first year, but he jumped at the chance to teach a Year 3 class.

‘I love teaching Year 3,’ Nick said with great enthusiasm.

‘To me, it’s that first year when they start to become independent. I just see it as a big growth year when you can actually see that progress,’ Nick explained.

Outside of the classroom, Nick is very involved in the spiritual life of the school. He credits this to his personal spiritual awakening as he became involved in the school’s community celebrations and embraced the Lutheran faith.

‘When I came here, I just saw a different way of seeing God and living our life as servants,’ Nick said candidly.

‘My wife and I became members of the Lutheran Church. We baptised our daughter in the Lutheran Church. It made me really feel part of a community and think about what we can do for others,’ Nick said.

Nick said he found tremendous joy in the community celebrations, which have grown substantially over the years.

‘The community celebrations connected me and I loved it,’ Nick said. ‘I became a member of the core group.’

Held the first Friday of every month, Nick said the celebrations were a wonderful opportunity for parents to get to know each other and for the students to be involved in the services.

‘I take the kids so the parents can interact and meet each other. We play games on the oval and then come back for the service.’

‘During lunchtimes, sometimes the Years 3 and 4 students will practise a play. Even if it’s just giving them a reading or a prayer to do, they love getting involved,’ Nick said.

Nick has also been instrumental in building some of the sports programs at Springfield.

‘When I first started there wasn’t a lot going on in terms of athletics,’ Nick said. ‘Maybe three or four students would turn up. Now we can have up to 30 students to a session, so I guess I’ve helped to build up that program.’

Nick said this year has been particularly exciting for sport at Springfield.

‘This year, we fielded the first ever Years 4/5 St Peters Springfield cricket and soccer teams in the AIC Competition,’ Nick said proudly.

‘The soccer team went really well. They only lost one game. The parents have been very supportive,’ he added.

In Term 4, he said the cricket team will be back out on the field again honing their skills in a local competition in preparation for AIC in Term 1, 2016.

‘They are all keen to go again,’ Nick said with a smile.

Nick said his motivation for what he does is firmly rooted in his love of the Springfield school community.

‘The community is a big thing for me…feeling like it’s not a job…it’s like being part of a big family.’