A family affair
Terry says that her mother, who grew up on the small Greek island of Amorgos, inspired her and her sisters Maria and Samara to all become teachers.
"Mum didn't have an education, and when she came to Australia, my dad died after six years of marriage. She was left in a small town with two businesses and no other Greek families," says Terry.
"The focus of her whole life was education, so that Maria, Samara and I would never have to struggle the way she did. She idolised teachers and even though we were struggling, everything was put aside for our education."
"Mum also looked after the young teachers that came to town because she had a café. We got to know the teachers after school so we grew up thinking that teaching was a wonderful profession."
The teaching lineage continued when Terry met her husband Kevin on her first day teaching. They've been married 30 years and have two adult sons, Matthew and Michael. Their son Matthew is a teacher at Acacia Ridge State School and his wife Rachel teaches at Stretton State College alongside Terry. Michael was originally studying to be a police officer, but has now joined the rest of the family by completing his teaching degree.
"We live and breathe it. We get together and education is discussed around the dinner table. We love it. It's a way of life, not work."
"I get so much satisfaction seeing children blossom through education – watching them improve and enjoying the successes with them."
"You can talk about something that's happened that day and they understand."
Sharing these successes with family members that get it has made the job even more satisfying for Terry.
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Article originally published on Teach Queensland News and Jobs, June 2016.