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Choosing education to change lives

Jonathon James left architecture studies to build a different future.


Not everyone knows what they want to do in life or what career they’re keen to pursue after leaving high school or college. That was certainly the case for Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) graduate Jonathon James.

Studying education wasn’t in Jonathon’s original plan, but after following other career paths, he says he’s “found his thing."

I originally was going to be an architect, so in my first semester of university I studied a Bachelor of Environmental Design, but I found it I wasn’t enjoying it,

“I then thought ‘what am I going to do’ and so I looked at apprenticeships.

“I laboured for eight months before deciding that I wanted to go back to university to try something else.”

Jonathon was coaching a junior cricket team and became aware of his interest in working with young kids; enjoying watching their skills develop.

“It’s that freshness – a blank canvas if you like.

With teaching you are able to empower students. There’s those moments where they give you a certain look; you can see they finally get it, and they say ‘oh wow’!

Jonathon says the units studied as part of his Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) degree have provided him a strong teaching toolkit.

“I’ve enjoyed the maths, science and health science units and particularly the units where you meet students for an hour a week to implement the strategies you learn.

“It’s a great offering by UTAS.”

The practical placements are great. I’ve done one each year at four different schools.

“It’s not always the same thing. You deal with a range of students, different situations and class sizes, and each time it gives you an extra string to your bow,” he said.

The ability to study both on campus and online was also valuable.

UTAS is very accommodating, providing students with flexible study options, and that enabled me to have a good work-life balance.

As Jonathon plans his future career as a teacher, he has no regrets he took the time to re-evaluate his study path.

“I’m really happy I chose education instead of something I probably wasn’t committed to.

“I can’t see myself doing anything else now.

“It’s pretty amazing knowing that all that time and work pays off and I can finally get into the profession.”

Become the teacher you want to be with the University of Tasmania's professionally accredited and nationally recognised Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education).