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Jay Dale

Author and co-author of Matilda Education's Scrapbooks

How long have you been in the education industry?
I graduated from teacher’s college in 1981 and taught for a number of years before becoming an educational editor in 1985 for Longman Cheshire. So I guess that makes it 35 years in educational publishing! However, I did return to teaching, on and off, over the past ten years. 

How have you noticed your teaching style change over the years? Why do you think this is?
Good teaching practice never changes. My teaching style hasn’t really changed at all. I still focus on the child, their needs and interests, and prefer opened-ended and play-based learning in the primary years.  

What is the importance to you of good educational resources?
A good educational resource is a great jumping off point. It also introduces teachers to new ways of approaching a topic, as well helping to scaffold students’ learning.

What has been your favourite part of writing an education resource?
The creative side, where I get to use my imagination and skills to help kids learn. 

What is your favourite part of being a teacher?
I’m not teaching now. However, when I was, it was getting to know my students and devising a program to suit their individual needs. I have always said, if a child is misbehaving in my class, either my lessons are not up to scratch or there is something going on for that child either at school or at home. My aim has always been to find ways to engage students fully which means asking them, “What is really going on for you?”  

What are three things people wouldn’t know about you?
I write mainstream children’s books under my ‘real’ name Jayneen Sanders. I grew up on a farm on the Darling Downs in Queensland. My first teaching position was in a tiny two-teacher school in Laidley, Queensland where I taught nine kids ranging from years 3 to year 7.

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching (or writing)?

II love yoga and walking.

Who are three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with?
Nelson Mandela; Michelle Obama; my husband, Mark (who thankfully is alive!)

What is your favourite book and why?
‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier because it is beautifully crafted, haunting and sad.

Do you follow a sports team?
No. No sports teams at all.