Faculty of Education

Stephanie Heathcote

It was a wonderful surprise to win the Young Teacher of the Year award. It was such a compliment to have been nominated.

Stephanie Heathcote, Launceston

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)

I am an Early Childhood teacher at Perth Primary School. This year I have the pleasure of teaching a prep/1 class. It was a wonderful surprise to win the Young Teacher of the Year award. It was such a compliment to have been nominated.

The early stages of a teaching career are very overwhelming. There are countless aspects of this profession that University and practicums cannot prepare you for. In my first year I made a lot of mistakes and was eager to implement changes to improve the quality of learning for my students. My nomination was wonderful reassurance that I was on the right track to becoming a successful and effective teacher.

I Graduated in 2012 and have been teaching full-time at Perth Primary School for two years. During this short time, the teaching profession has not changed since I was a pre-service teacher. As a pre-service teacher I did not fully understand the depth of this profession. In professional experiences I was supported by my colleague teachers and did not have such an awesome responsibility that qualified teachers have.

The most challenging aspects of the teaching profession is the ability to understand that there is only so much we can do. There are only so many hours in the day. We cannot expect ourselves to achieve more than is possible. While we strive to provide the most supportive environments possible for students we cannot expect ourselves to go beyond what is possible.

I am inspired by the possibility of this profession. We spend a lot of time with the students in our class and have the opportunity make a difference. It is inspiring each time a student lights up with excitement when they make new discoveries. I feel very rewarded when students’ make progress and this encourages me to continue to work for improvement.

I studied at UTAS for four years. My most rewarding moments were all thanks to a few outstanding tutors. They had extensive classroom experience and supported us to make the connection between the theory we learned in lectures and the real world. The face to face tutorials and lectures were invaluable. We were able to ask questions and engage in respectful debates and discussions. In fourth year we planned maths sequences with teachers in schools and implemented them with small groups of students.

My impression of the Faculty of Education is that it is highly respected in schools across Australia. I think that we produce some outstanding graduates. The programs between schools and the university allow pre-service teachers to gain on the job experience. I would like to see the university continue to support face-to-face learning and programs like the pre-service teacher literacy assistant program and maths tutorials in classrooms.

My advice for Graduates is to go out there and endeavour to achieve your best. Always assume that people have good intentions and let it go when something does not go to plan.