Get to know the Primary Education Course Convenor Dr Sherry Hattingh and a prospective graduate, Mikayla-Jade Blake.
Dr Sherry Hattingh is the course convenor for Primary Education at Avondale. She is a passionate lecturer with years of experience as a Primary Teacher and as a lecturer. Find out what she loves about Primary Education and how she can help you to become a teacher.
Tell us a little bit about why you’re passionate to lecture in Primary Teaching.
I absolutely love teaching in the Primary area of Education. These are the crucial years and where students learn literacy and numeracy skills for life, in addition I can share Jesus with my students. I know this is the area where God wants me to be working. I am now engaged in working and preparing our future primary school teachers and in this way I can impact so many more primary school students for Jesus.
What makes Avondale’s Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) course unique?
Our current course which has already been running for three years, offers specialisations in English, Mathematics, Science, PDHPE, Creative Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. We have a rich emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy which are essential elements in teaching in a primary school. Our students do five school placements beginning in the middle of their second year.
What makes an effective primary teacher? What qualities would a prospective student need to have going into the course?
We are looking for passionate and committed individuals who want to learn and engage with primary aged students.
Explain to us two or three interesting activities you might facilitate in a Primary Teaching lecture?
We do a fair amount of hands-on activities, for example, our students tutor a primary student under lecturer guidance, we visit our local school for demonstration lessons where students can observe, participate and question what is happening in an actual classroom, and so much more. Many of our classes have our students learning new skills while engaging in learning to become great teachers.
How do we know that our Avondale course is cutting-edge?
Our course is designed on current educational research from leading educational institutions and our own research at Avondale.
What piece of advice would you give to people who will be reading this, and are sitting on the fence about Primary Teaching? (Alternatively, what would be your draw-card or selling point of Primary Teaching)?
A primary teaching degree is one that you will never regret doing. It is a great base degree which opens doors into so many other careers.
Anything further you’d like to add?
Absolutely, our staff are enthusiastic and passionate about primary teaching and so classes are fun and engaging.
Sherry helps students every day reach their potential of becoming a primary teacher and Mikayla-Jade is one of those students who has been lucky to have Sherry educate and guide her through her 4 years of study at Avondale.
“As I come to the end of my 4-year whirlwind Avondale adventure, I reflect back on some of the memories that were created, and some of the amazing opportunities we had whilst studying to be Primary Teachers.
I will never forget our Humanities and Social Science excursion to visit the local Angora-goat farm, where we learned how to conduct our own excursions, and how we can use our surroundings to teach our own students one day.
Sherry walked us up to the goat shearing shed, we observed how the goat’s hair was shorn, and were blown away to find out from the farmers that the hair was worth more than its weight in gold! (Our Humanities and Social Science classes with Sherry definitely taught us how to teach through practical experiences!)
When it comes to graduation and finding amazing jobs that are suited for you, I take a moment to appreciate my current circumstance. When applying for Avondale I never thought about the way in which it would lead me into a job. Avondale facilitates a smooth process where Education Directors from all over Australia and New Zealand join together in order to conduct interviews with potential students whom they may employ in the next year. I was blessed to receive offers and look forward to working as a Prep teacher in Mackay, QLD next year.” – Mikayla-Jade Blake, Prospective 2018 Graduate.
To find out more about studying Primary Education at Avondale visit our website or call 02 4980 2377.
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