Fraser Coast school graduate eager to get back in the classroom

RECENT school leavers and people looking for a change in career are being encouraged to consider stepping in front of the blackboard.

St Mary’s College, Maryborough school graduate Emma Cordie is keen to get back into the classroom – this time as a teacher. PHOTO: Supplied.

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dr Sharon Louth said teaching was a very fulfilling job.

“The rewards of helping young minds grow and learn are immense and the profession offers considerable financial incentives, job security and opportunities,” Dr Louth said.

Dr Louth, who is the program coordinator for USC’s Bachelor of Primary Education on the Fraser Coast, said the starting salary for a full-time state school teacher was also another drawcard.

She said the current full-time beginning state school teacher salary was approximately $71,000 a year – one of the highest starting salaries in Australia for graduates.

Teaching degrees are also now much more affordable after recent fee changes as part of the Federal Government’s Job Ready Graduates package.

Applications via the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) to study Primary Education at USC from semester 1 close on 19 February. Prospective students can also apply at mid-year.

USC has also introduced an Undergraduate Certificate in Education (Primary) this year at its Fraser Coast campus and has scholarships available to cover the full cost of fees.

Applications will remain open until 10 March and students will be automatically considered for the scholarships when applying to study.

APPLY NOW: Scholarships available to Fraser Coast students

As part of the short courses, students complete four introductory-level subjects which can be converted to a full semester of credit towards the Primary Education degree.

One future teacher inspired by her own schooling experience to embark on a career in education is Maryborough’s Emma Cordie.

The St Mary’s College 2020 graduate, who achieved an impressive ATAR of 93.45, said she was looking forward to starting classes on 1 March.

She will begin a four-year Bachelor of Primary Education at USC’s Hervey Bay campus.

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Emma said it took one stint volunteering at her former primary school, Parke State School, to realise teaching was her calling.

“It began with me simply helping out as a way to keep myself busy during my time off, but it quickly became something I was very passionate about,” she said.

“I would devote the first two weeks of college holidays to doing work experience at my former primary school – I spent the whole year looking forward to it. I had the opportunity to work with students one-on-one, help run class activities and supervise small group activities, which gave me great experience and insights into teaching.”

Emma said the opportunity to study the degree of her choice while still living at home was another major advantage.

“Studying at the Fraser Coast campus will allow me to continue growing in a familiar environment, close to family and surrounded by a supportive and welcoming community,” she said.

A background in musical theatre and public speaking are some of the skills Emma plans to bring to the classroom during placements and as a graduate teacher.

“I am passionate about public speaking and any form of writing, participating in Eisteddfod, Lions Youth of the Year and Rostrum Voice of Youth,” said Emma.

She also performed in school plays and musicals and was awarded St Mary’s College medals for public speaking.

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