'The workshops tend to be very interactive, consolidating learning from lectures and giving us practical skills...'
Swim Instructor and Supervisor, AquaGym Swim Centre
Primary Teacher, Hoon Hay High School
Having been brought up within a family of educators, Jessica was used to being around school environments and primary children her whole life.
Before studying her teaching degree, Jessica already had a lot of teaching experiences after high school, including work at a special needs school, as a swim instructor, and a term at an American summer camp as a councillor.
‘I have always had a passion to go into the teaching career,’ she says. ‘Working with children consolidated my want to work with children, and therefore my next step was to enrol into a teaching course.’
Coming over from Cambelltown, Australia with her husband whom is a Christchurch local, Jessica found UC’s Primary Teaching degree to be the practical study she was looking for.
‘I enjoyed being on campus at UC,’ she says. ‘This course sets you up well to be a New Zealand teacher, giving you an insight into te reo Māori, the curriculum areas and building your knowledge of philosophies and pedagogies.
‘I enjoyed the practicality of many workshops – for instance, doing science experiments or baking. The workshops tend to be very interactive, consolidating learning from lectures and giving us practical skills to use when teaching in the classroom.’
The number of placements in Christchurch schools is easily her favourite part of the degree.
‘The benefits of these placements were that they were spread out throughout our years at university. This is different to universities at home which provide teaching qualifications, as they have less placements, for larger periods of time,’ she says.
Jessica also worked as a swim instructor and shift supervisor as an extra way to enhance her learning.
She looks forward to becoming a fully registered primary teacher with her new role at Hoon Hay High School, and plans to eventually go back to university studies specialising in teaching students with special needs.
‘With further experience I would like to become a team leader, supporting my fellow colleagues. This will be alongside being an associate teacher, supporting students from university who are following in the same career path.’