Spotlight On: Mrs Sophie Carroll

Posted January 18, 2024 in Teacher Spotlights, The Wesleyan By Sophie Foster

From Westley to Wesley, Mrs Carroll tells us about her passions.


What do you want students to take away from a year in your class?

A love of learning! Teaching across different subjects, I want students to leave feeling excited and hungry to know more about the world and themselves. With my Media and Drama classes I want them to leave feeling they have an avenue to express themselves and a way to tell their stories, as well as appreciate the aesthetic work of others. I hope my English or HASS classes give them the ability to reflect on narratives and sources of information, to view the world from different perspectives, and hopefully help them form their own.

We hear you spent some time studying in the US. Could you tell us more?

I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship to conduct a series of interviews at Yale, Columbia, New York University (NYU) and the New Your Film Academy. It was a surreal, pinch yourself moment, meeting the Dean of Admissions at Yale and chatting about what factors help students flourish in a challenging and competitive academic environment; how academic spaces are best designed and used for contemporary educational needs, and meeting the Director of the New York Film Academy, whose office has a humble view of the Statue of Liberty. It was such a wonderful and affirming experience to know the joys and challenges of teaching are shared globally.

Is there someone who inspired you to become a teacher?

Mr Basil Psanoudakis and Mr Mel Weston — both were incredibly important teachers in my journey. Mr Psanoudakis was my Media teacher, and Year 8–12 mentor. Mr Weston was my Head of House, and perhaps the most composed and kind person I have met. Both taught me the importance of humour in a classroom, being patient and how important it is to take the time to help every single student feel that they belong.

Do you have a favourite quote, and why is it special to you?

“You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” It’s from one of my favourite films (and books) The Princess Bride. Whenever I hear it, it transports me back to watching this film with my brothers. Like Westley, the protagonist, we always need people around to gently guide us when we get it wrong.

What’s a happy memory you’ll never forget?

When I was 16, I spent about six months on exchange in Toronto, Canada. One evening, a friend and I decided to ignore the torrential rain and run 3km to get late-night ice cream. I have never been so cold or laughed so hard in my life. I can still smell the rain on the leaves, and the taste of the double choc ice cream. It was just such a joyful, youthful adventure. And absolutely worth it!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

From about four or five years old I wanted to be a Veterinarian. I love animals so much, but I came to realise that loving animals and being able to fix them are two different things.


Mrs Carrol is the Director of Student Wellbeing and Service Learning. This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 edition of The Wesleyan. To read more, click here.

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