Going Old School with Mrs Tullo

I had the slightly sur­real, but com­pletely won­der­ful expe­ri­ence recently of doing a school visit to the school of my old prep and grade one teacher — Mrs Tullo.

Mrs Tullo was my first ever pri­mary school teacher back in what I now call The Day. Back then Mrs Tullo ruled the class­rooms of Wat­so­nia Pri­mary School. These days she teaches at Bun­doora Pri­mary School in Melbourne’s north-east, which is where I went to see her and talk to the school’s stu­dents about writ­ing, being pub­lished and being a grad­u­ate of the school of Tullo.

As the Bun­doora P.S. newslet­ter said when it was adver­tis­ing my author talk, ‘His mother and Mrs Tullo always said he would write a book and he has.’ In many ways Mrs Tullo was my first pub­lisher and she recalled to the Bun­doora stu­dents some of my ear­lier sto­ries includ­ing this title about my then new baby sister.

Wat­so­nia Kids was Mrs Tullo’s imprint and I sure was excited to be pub­lish­ing sto­ries with her in those early days. Espe­cially since she was happy to pub­lish risque and exper­i­men­tal stuff such as this page from My New Baby.

And despite Mrs Tullo insist­ing that I now call her by her given name of Mar­i­lyn, I couldn’t. You just can’t relearn infor­ma­tion like that, when it has been absorbed dur­ing those for­ma­tive years.

The stu­dents at Bun­doora were also awe­some and keen to hear my sto­ries from the past about Mrs Tullo and my sto­ries from now about my glam­orous authorly life. I talked about how I come up with ideas and what to do when you get stuck. And the group of grades four, five and six and me did a small writ­ing exer­cise and came up with a most delight­ful story called Bob the Rap­ping Vam­pire Bat, which would surely be wor­thy of being pub­lished as a Bun­doora Kids book.

And here are the inevitable now and then pho­tos of stu­dent and teacher.

Now: Me and Mrs Tullo at Bun­doora Pri­mary School, Novem­ber 2010.

Then: My pri­mary school grad­u­a­tion in 1994. Please dis­re­gard my ears and my bow tie.

Mrs Tullo was the first influ­en­tial teacher I ever came across and it really was a joy to see her again, influ­enc­ing the stu­dents of 2010 in all the right ways.



Wow Andrew! This is awe­some! What an expe­ri­ence! Im sure she was so proud of you! Brings back good old mem­o­ries of WPS and ‘where are we now’!! :)

Melpomene Selemidis

What a gor­geous story! Wow, you still had the story and the pho­tos!! What a beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ence that must’ve been. I’ve been telling my stu­dents I’m gonna write a book for years. Hope­fully, one day I’ll get one pub­lished and be able to show my students!



I love Mrs. Tullo and this story. Very endear­ing. P.S. No bow tie in your ‘now’ shot? Whyyyyy???

I’m sorry, but I sim­ply can­not dis­re­gard that tie.


Hey Andrew…
You should com­ment back on my blog again…
I have not seen you for ages!!!