| 23.01,12. 02:53 AM |
Lots to learn for teachers
January 23, 2012
STEPPING into the classroom for the first time is guaranteed to give you butterflies - but it's not just the kindergarten kids whose pulses will be racing.
More than 2200 new full-time teachers will be employed in NSW for the start of the school year.
Eironn Sleath, 22, is taking up a position at Busby West Public School in Sydney's southwest, teaching children with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities in the special education unit.
"There are definitely some nerves, but I'm more excited than nervous," Ms Sleath said yesterday. "I think there will be challenges in any classroom but I haven't met all my students yet so I've just got to wait and see what those challenges are."
Ms Sleath completed a four-year degree for the job, including a year focused on special education.
"I was living in a small community (in Gunnedah, west of Tamworth) and I wanted to venture out and do something that I could take back to that community," she said. "It's definitely rewarding and the rewards are so addictive - I couldn't imagine doing anything else now."
Despite the flak so often aimed at teachers, Department of Education and Communities human resources general manager Trish Kelly said teaching continued to be a highly sought-after profession. "Career prospects for teachers are excellent," she said.
"Many go on to become assistant principals in primary schools, head teachers in high schools, deputy principals or principals."
Others, like new English and drama teacher Rebecca Stock, are simply focused on making a difference in young lives.
"I was always interested in professions that would allow me to help people," the 22-year-old said.
"I first thought about being a nurse or a vet, but then I realised I can't stand the sight of blood so they were out of the question.
"Teaching was the next thing that came to mind." Ms Stock is poised to begin her job at Doonside Technology High School in Sydney later this week.
"After a five-year degree I'm about as prepared as I'm ever going to be so I'll try not to be nervous about it," she said. "But I'm sure there will be some butterflies on the day."