Jesse Waters

To listen, evoke and reflect
Jesse Waters - teacher at Living School

Jesse Waters

CF-1 (Year 1 Teacher)

My dream for Living School is that it is a place where every child can anchor themselves as they stumble, re-route, explore and question the world around them… then do it all over again with enthusiasm, building confidence.

As an educator, I believe my role is to listen, evoke, observe and reflect alongside children and their families. I aim to honour the rights of the child, to marvel at the purity of imagination, to provide a safe place for children to take risks, and to continue to reflect on, and build, my skills as an educator so I can be present in the moments children gift us with every day.

We absorb our experiences and we are shaped by the encounters we have from birth. Children explore these encounters with curious fingers, wondrous eyes and floating hypotheses. The moments they co-create, their observations and provocations are foundations on which to build.  Young minds are stretched and transformed when trust is fostered between all participants.

A sense of belonging, shared ownership and mutual respect are the building blocks for sustainable trusting relationships. There is no impact without relationships. Developing this with children and their families has to be the first step in any learning journey. Creating a sustainable thread of trust is the foundation on which everything else can be woven.


Jesse has had 9 years’ experience as an early years’ educator. She moved to the Northern Rivers from her hometown on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 2020 and was drawn to the Living School and its image of education. Jesse has spent the past 8 years working at Wooranna Park Primary School (WPPS) located in Melbourne south-east and known globally for its inspired approaches.

Some of Jesse’s accomplishments include: mentoring a student with the design and production of WPPS first culturally inclusive Koori uniform; and in 2018 Jesse was chosen to feature in one of the 4 educational feature films created by the Educational Foundation: Edutopia, as part of their Schools That Work Series.

Jesse’s role at WPPS far surpassed the walls of the classroom. She established the school’s first sustainable community engagement committee and instituted WPPS first community playgroup. Jesse sat on the City of Greater Dandenong’s first Early Years Learning Network and facilitated connections between early learning centres and schools. Alongside her teaching and community engagement work, Jesse built strong links with community organisations and family services. She was instrumental in developing social capital for the school and additional opportunities to support children and families.


Tertiary Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Education

2008-2011 Australian Catholic University

Vocational Education

  • Art Therapy Short Course

2018 Chisholm TAFE

Work Experience

  • 2013-2020 Wooranna Park Primary School
    • Early years Classroom Teacher
    • Unit Leader and Student Teacher Mentor
    • Community/Family Engagement Coordinator
    • Playgroup Facilitator
    • Transition Leader and Preschool Coordinator
  • 2012-2013 Casual Relief Teacher