Nardia Broomhall has never shied away from a challenge.
Her decision to put her student cap back on this year and enrol in the Teacher Development: Inclusive Education Specialisation Initiative, after almost two decades as an educator, are testimony to that.
She is clearly not one for hyperbole either.
When asked whether she would encourage others to apply for the Teacher Development: Inclusive Education Specialisation Initiative, Mrs Broomhall’s response was:
“I am not going to sugar-coat it though. It is a university course.
“It is not easy-going. But it is extremely worthwhile.
“It is tough, but rewarding, both personally and professionally.”
Mrs Broomhall was among a group of participants who graduated on Saturday with a Graduate Certificate of Inclusive Education, a great sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge and skills to improve the learning environments in which they operate.
“It has deepened my knowledge of a diverse range of students in need, and how to support them,” she said.
“It challenges your thinking, it also affirms your thinking.”
The Department of Education has worked closely with the University of Tasmania to develop a suite of initiatives that maximise opportunities for teachers, and the Teacher Development program is an important aspect of this formal partnership and the work of the Peter Underwood Centre.
Successful applicants are given full-time pay and part-time release from teaching duties, along with other assistance, to undertake the fee-free course in two blocks of eight weeks.
Based at Nixon Street Primary in Devonport, Mrs Broomhall is a Behavioural Learning Leader with the Respectful Schools Support Team. She applied for the Teacher Development course because she saw it as important opportunity and because she wanted to lead by example.
Mrs Broomhall said armed with these skills, she will be better able to assist other teachers who are working in the diverse environment, and families to better understand Inclusive Education, which is often misunderstood.
“It can be gifted and talented children, as well as children with disabilities,” she said.
“It might mean young people who are disengaged with school.
“It is about promoting intentional and responsive learning and learning programs.
“Programs that are suitable for engagement for students so they become life-long learners.”
Mrs Broomhall said another great outcome of the program was the collaborative approach it was creating with graduates around the state.
“Everyone is moving forward together,” she said.
Thank you to the Tasmania Department of Education for allowing us to republish this news item on our website.