CAMDEN Haven school teacher Sonya Steep has been commended with a World Teachers' Day recognition award by the Teacher's Guild of NSW.
The St Joseph's Primary School Laurieton educator has been with the school for more than 30 years as a teacher, deputy principal and director curriculum.
World Teachers' Day held on October 29 celebrates the bright future of teaching and recognises the hard work of teachers everywhere.
Mrs Steep, who lives in Port Macquarie and teaches year three and four students in Laurieton, said there is never a dull moment in her profession.
"Receiving the award was quite a surprise because I really didn't know much about it. I actually found out through another teacher and it was a lovely surprise," she said.
"After the award there has been a lot of feedback from past students and it's been quite overwhelming to see some of those past kids become teachers due to my influence. It just show it's all been worth it."
"I have previously had a go at the leadership roles to push my limits and I enjoyed it, however I found I missed the daily contact with kids and my own class.
"Nowadays I enjoy teaching year three and four students the most because they are at an age where they are ready to go and take learning to the next level.
"They understand what it's all about and they know they will be rewarded if the effort is put in."
Mrs Steep originally worked in Sydney as a physical education teacher in Camden before moving to Port Macquarie and taking on the role in Laurieton.
"Teaching in Laurieton has been a standout because of the small community and the supportive families. The kids have country values and small town values that everyone pitches in to help community," she said.
"I have had offers to go elsewhere but I'm in a place where I know every child and make a difference with them. I can teach generations and you get to know all the families, it's great to have that contact.
"The school has a young staff who are very forward thinking and we are really moving places, and have been for many years. We keep up with the latest thinking in education and we strive for that high standard of education.
"There's never a dull moment as a teacher."
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