It wasn’t until I started year 11 that I realised I wanted to become a teacher.
Along with my core pre-tertiary subjects I undertook a unit at college called ‘Working with Children.' This subject allowed me to realise my passion for teaching children and consolidate my decision to become a teacher.
Once I made my decision, I undertook subjects that I thought would be beneficial for me in terms of getting into University and starting my career in teaching.
At the end of year 12 I decided to take a year off before commencing University. One year ended up turning into two years, so then I had to apply and wait to be accepted.
In my gap year I studied a Diploma of Beauty Therapy as this was another area that I was interested in. I thought I would be able to work in this industry through my four years at University to pay my way through. Which I did, along with a lot of help from my very supportive parents. I soon realised living out of home is a very expensive exercise!
The University of Tasmania staff were so helpful in guiding me and giving me advice during my application. I live in Hobart but made the decision to move to Launceston to study the Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree. This was the best decision I ever made.
I am the first to attend University in my immediate family and I feel extremely proud and privileged that I was able to further my education through UTAS and achieve the career of my choice.
Moving from Hobart, I lived in a share house in Mowbray which was a five minute walk from the Uni. I would travel up on a Monday from Hobart, stay for a duration, which was usually two or three nights, and then travel back home to Hobart for work.
I chose to study Education as I have always had a passion for learning. I love challenging myself and stimulating my mind. I also love working with children. Teaching is a career where you will never stop learning and it is a rewarding thing to be able to share my knowledge in innovative ways and see children learn.
If you are wanting to become a primary school teacher, the Bachelor of Education Primary degree is definitely the way to go. Over the four years I was provided with relevant and worthwhile experiences that set me up to succeed in practical placements and in my career.
I learned everything from behaviour management strategies, to pedagogical knowledge, to strategies that enable you to have a long and healthy career, and everything in between. Of course these are consolidated and strengthened in the classroom, but UTAS built the foundations for success in these areas.
I enjoyed the practical experiences that UTAS provided us. During many tutorials we got to engage in and explore hands-on activities that are suitable to use in our teaching. I use lesson ideas in my classroom today that I took from my tutors and classes at University.
The academics at UTAS were always so supportive. They were there for us every step of the way and wanted to help us succeed. Each lesson and tutorial was specifically implemented and designed to ensure we succeeded in the assignments and understood the intent of the unit. They never set us up to fail.
My practical experience opportunities in schools were all amazing. I requested each and every one one of my practicums and UTAS was able to successfully place me each time. I learned so much during my placements and I was able to collect a vast array of resources. I undertook all my placements in the South of the state. My final Placement was at East Derwent Primary School in Jordan River on a Grade 5/6. This final placement really set me up for my career.
During my final year of UTAS I gained a Limited Authority to Teach which enabled me to start relief teaching while I was studying. This enabled me to develop my skills, confidence and relationship with different schools, which was highly beneficial for me. I was very lucky to sign a full time contract in December before I graduated for the following year.
Since graduating from UTAS, I have been working at Windermere Primary School teaching a grade 3/4 class. I have 26 students in my class and I absolutely love it. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely challenging days, but for the most part it is amazing and everything I hoped it would be.
During my final semester of University, UTAS provided us with a professional learning opportunity in 21st Century Learning Design. I decided to take up this opportunity and undertake the program. During one of my interviews for a teaching job, I was able to talk about incorporating 21st century learning into the classroom which impressed the panel and I ended up being offered the job.
Looking towards the future, I would like to eventually becoming a senior staff member. I would like to help empower other teachers in their classrooms to enhance students' learning and development in classes other than my own.
My advice to future students would be to be proactive and manage your time wisely. I used to create lists and set myself goals and time limits for certain tasks. It made a big difference to my stress levels during assignment due dates and exam study time.
In your final year of study, I would definitely recommend applying for a Limited Authority to Teach. I learned so much through relief teaching and it helped prepare me for my full time teaching career."