2014 Education graduate Jacquelyn Nesbitt spoke to us about why she chose education, her study journey and her hopes after graduation.
What did you study and why?
Ever since I started school I knew I wanted to be a teacher, so naturally, when the time (finally) came to choose what I wanted to study, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Primary). After studying for two years you’re given the opportunity to choose a specialist area, and I chose Middle Schooling as I really enjoyed teaching in the middle years (years 4 to 9).
What were the most interesting things you learned in your degree?
My degree at Griffith University was filled with so many interesting learning experiences. Not only did I learn my teacher’s tricks of the trade, but I also understood how to create engaging learning experiences that can cater for a variety of students.
What experience did you gain in your university experience which helped towards your career?
Not only did I gain a myriad of skills and knowledge from my wonderful tutors and lecturers, but I was also given the opportunity, through Griffith Honours College, to participate in some amazing activities including critical thinking workshops and conservation projects. These activities helped to broaden my skill set for my future career.
Have you obtained a job for after graduation? If so, who are you working for what is your role? How did you get this job? If you are still searching, what type of role are you working towards?
This year I have a job teaching year seven at a local high school. I will be teaching mathematics and science, as well as some additional subjects including visual art. I am so grateful for the opportunity as this is within my area of expertise, and I feel well prepared thanks to my specialist subjects.
This will be the first year that year sevens will be in high school, which is an amazing opportunity for me as a graduate. I have already been part of some of the foundational work to transition these year seven students to the school, and I will get to teach in a brand new building.
What has been your biggest challenge along the way?
My biggest challenge during my time at university has definitely been keeping a balance between study, work and my social life. However, I have learned to be organised by carefully planning each day so that I ensure I’ve made time for the different priorities in my life.
How are you feeling as graduation approaches?
I can honestly say that I am truly excited about graduation as becoming a teacher has been a lifelong aspiration of mine. I feel confident that the skills I have developed, and the knowledge which I’ve gained at university will support me in my career, next year, and all the years to come.
What keeps your motivated?
To keep myself motivated, I set myself rewards for getting things done. I love to do lots of activities such as playing sport, spending time with friends or going to the beach. Organising an activity that I know I will look forward to helps me to ensure that I stick to my deadlines. It also means that I take time to relax in between challenging periods of study which refreshes me for my next piece of assessment.
What direction do you hope to take your career this year?
In 2015 I hope that I can provide my students with engaging, enjoyable and enriching learning experiences. In the future, I would love to take on higher roles within the education system which may include furthering my own education.
Do you have any tips for people who’re unsure what to do after graduation?
After graduating, I think that is important to take the time to relax. Don’t become disheartened if a job opportunity doesn’t appear straight away, but rather, keep searching and keep connected with the people around you who will support you in your endeavours. I also suggest offering to volunteer to gain experience and knowledge in different areas of your chosen career.