Jacqueline McAlister

-Interview by Shauna Abel-

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Jacqueline McAlister-teacher and friend to all. The young technology teacher,behind her heart-warming smile and charismatic personality,shares a part in the teaching community of Nagle College.I had a chat with her to find more about 'Wacko Jacko' and who she really is.

We know one of your nicknames is Wacko Jacko. Do you have any others?

Wacko Jacko,Jack Mack and Jackie.I wasn't really given the nicknames because of a specific situation or reason,I grew up with them and they just stuck to me.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born at Windsor Hospital in NSW and grew up in Freemans Reach.My family is originally from England and Ireland.

Can you tell us a little bit about your family?

My family consists of my mother,father,an older sister Jessica and a younger brother Thomas. We also have an elderly grandmother at home as well.Outside the family in our house,we have a very small family based in Australia.Most of my mother's side is still in England.

At home, do you have any pets?

Living on five acres,I have two puppies called Missy and Bella,a guinea pig and six goats.

What about your schooling years,where did you attend for both primary and secondary school?

For primary school, I attended Freemans Reach Public School and for high school, I was at Bede Polding College at Windsor.

For any child,there was always at least one subject you don't like.Were there any particular subjects you hated in school?

Mathematics-I didn't get along with my teacher,they didn't explain things properly and I grew to hate maths.

As a teacher, what subjects do you teach and how long have you been at Nagle?

I've been at Nagle now for five years and I teach a variety of technology subjects such as Design and Technology,Junior Technology,Food Technology,Textiles and Design as well as Computer Studies.

I'm assuming teaching wasn't your very first job.

Yes,it wasn't my first job.I was 18 when I first worked as a seamstress making school uniforms.After that, I taught at three other schools before coming to Nagle.

You obviously love your job as a teacher but I understand that you didn't always want to become one.What was your inspiration to become a school teacher?

I've always had a passion for helping people and I thought that teaching was my call in life as I loved to help and educate others.Up until I was about 13,I wanted to do something with animals but then reality sunk in that sometimes the animals die and that you've got to put them down so that quickly turned me off that job.

Teaching so many technology based subjects,what was your inspiration for becoming a technology teacher?

I've always been good with my hands and I grew up as a creative child so to be able to pass those skills onto others was something that I really wanted to do.Technology was also my favourite subject in school as well.

Are their any highlights in your teaching career that you can name?

I think everyday you get a little bit of a highlight from other students and it's always nice to hear kids say that they like the subject or that it's their favourite class.It just makes your day.This year, Food Technology,Textiles and Woodwork seem to be my main subjects and I just love it.


Do you have any secret talents or hobbies that you are absolutely passionate about?

I can draw paisley art,free hand and I can sew anything without a pattern so you can give me an idea and I can stitch it up for you.Apart from that,I don't have any great talents.

Now we know you're a Food Technology teacher, but have you ever had a disaster in the kitchen where something didn't go as planned?

I've had many.One that stands out to my family was when I baked this slice and I used salt instead of sugar.It smelt great but tasted terrible. I also blew up a mini oven,I sprayed oil into the oven and it blew up.Luckily no-one got hurt.

A little birdy told me you are related to a famous person.

I'm actually related to Shannon Noll,he's my cousin but that's about as famous as my family gets.

If you were given the chance to meet a celebrity of your choice,who would you pick?

Prince Harry,he's a bit of a character and a larrikin and I like that about him.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life,what would you choose?

Vegemite on toast.I absolutely love it or as people say,toast with my vegemite.

What type of music do you listen to?

I pretty much just listen to Nova on the radio so I would say that that's pop music.I don't really have a favourite artist or band.I literally just listen to music on the way to and from work and that's about it. I would say I'm more of a reader than a music listener.

My final question is,if you had three wishes,what would you wish for?

So, one would be that cancer was non-existent.I think multiple people would benefit avoiding the heartache of that .Two, for everyone to have equal rights around the world,not just in education but also that females were seen as equals in all countries and religions. My last wish would be that animal cruelty stops.

Thank you so much Miss McAlister for your time and I wish you all the best in your teaching career at Nagle.

Thank you very much.