Beyond the school gates – the kind of teacher I want to be

Each of us are shaped by the relationships and experiences we have throughout our lives. As clichéd as it sounds, people come in and out of our lives for a reason, with each person influencing who we are and who we will become. When I think about my own journey, very few people (outside my family and close friends) have gone above and beyond to make the same differences in my life as what my teachers did for me. This inspiration is what drove me to enrol to study in the Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours). I want to teach and have an impact on students’ lives, far beyond the school gates. I want to be the teacher who can provide students with the education and confidence to follow their own dreams.

When I think back to when I first received my acceptance letter, I was excited about the new challenges and also slightly nervous about the unknown and how it was all going to pan out. Since then, I have not looked back or given my fears a second thought.

Making the move from a rural town in far north Queensland I was worried about where I was going to live and if I was going to make friends. That all changed when I lived at Duchesne College, a residential all girls’ college within UQ. It was here that I made lifelong friends from all over Australia and overseas who were also studying at UQ. I joined the rowing and dance teams, experienced some choir and drama and got to meet people in my course, before uni even started.

Being the first in my family to move away from home for uni was a big learning curve, but I quickly discovered what uni life was like. I found myself among a close-knit group of friends, my HPE peers and my science teaching buddies. I had nothing to worry about in the friends department. Little did I know, these friends would be travelling with me through the many amazing experiences of the degree.

Together we started observational practical experiences, where we observed teachers in action teaching swimming and soccer. In my second practical experience at Graceville Primary School we put our lesson planning skills to good use and taught throwing and catching to primary aged students. It was a very supportive environment and we had peers and tutors giving us constructive feedback along the way. I felt comfortable to ask as many questions as I wanted, and talked through new ideas and strategies every day.

In second year I received an Education Queensland rural scholarship which allowed me to spend three weeks at Goondiwindi State High School. I took this opportunity to practice classroom management skills and understand what it would be like working in a small community. I also had the opportunity to teach science practical lessons for primary and senior classes.

The major practical which I have just completed involved us being a part of a school for one whole term (12 weeks) of practical experience. Although there were challenges such as getting used to being in charge of multiple classes as well as monitoring student learning and engagement for an extended period of time, it was worth it to see students’ progress from the start to the end of the science and HPE subjects.

Looking to the future, as a newly graduated student, there are many feelings of joy, excitement, fear, and empowerment from the best four years of my life. Looking back over all of the practical experiences, classes, and tutorials I feel very excited about starting my new career and using past experiences to getting to know the students and how they learn, as well as engaging with the school community. I know that I would not feel as prepared, without the undivided support from academic staff, the opportunity to work in rural and remote locations, and the friendships and connections I have made throughout my learning at UQ.

I am very grateful for all my experiences and know that the skills that I have learnt will be very beneficial for when I get to give back and start my career in the remote community of St George in 2017.


Last updated:
7 April 2017