Interested in making a lifelong difference for students of all backgrounds? Consider experiences like those of Primary Teaching (Honours) student Maddison.
“I chose to study primary teaching to be in the classroom, working with students, to allow them to reach their goals and full potential,” says Maddison. “I’m passionate about working with kids with special needs…providing a supportive and engaging platform for them to receive the best possible education that will resonate with them for life,” says Maddison.
She discovered that passion during a practical placement in rural Dubbo, NSW.
“I was lucky enough to go into the Special Education unit that they had there, work with some students with disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and autism. It was extremely valuable to see the impact I had on them and their learning,” she says.
The experience expanded her horizons culturally, as well.
“Working in a region like Dubbo was an incredible experience. It was completely different from what I’m used to here in Newcastle, and it was great to be exposed to an environment that’s so rich with different heritages and cultures like their Indigenous community.”
In addition to the cutting edge curriculum of teaching and learning, Maddison is also learning best practices from observing her instructors’ techniques.
“The education staff here at UON are great! They bring such a wealth of knowledge from their experience and past teaching experiences. Personal experiences, personal stories. They’ll teach and relate content to real life stories, so it enables me to imagine what it’s like in a teaching environment, not just reading it from a textbook.”
Maddison believes in unlocking the potential of each student through tailoring approaches to their personal learning styles.
“Each student has an individualised way of learning. Some students learn better with a kinaesthetic approach, some take to videos through an aural lesson, some are visual learners and prefer pictures or images to develop their understanding of a certain concept. It’s been great for me to learn how to cater for all types of learners.”
Maddison has a bright future ahead of her as a teacher. But at the end of the day, she says it’s all about the difference she can make for her students.
“I’m motivated with everything to do with teaching, the school environment, the opportunity to work with an incredible cohort of staff, creating my own learning space, but it always comes back to my future students. They are the reason I’m working so hard to become the best teacher I possibly can, for them.”