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Lyndsey Oxley - Class Teacher, South Australian Department of Education and Children's Services

Lyndsey Oxley
'I would say that the main things that have helped me are my organisational abilities and my time management skills. '

Lyndsey is a fourth-year graduating student at Flinders University, currently on the South Australian Department of Education and Children's Services' (DECS) Country Teaching Scholarship Scheme. She has a strong sporting background in surfing, netball, basketball and surf life saving and has competed at state and national levels. Since doing this interview Lyndsey has started a permanent job at Port Wakefield Primary as a Year 5/6/7 class teacher and the school's Indonesian teacher. She is also the Australian Education Union representative for her school and has spoken at DECS and AEU conferences.

Why did you want to become a teacher?

I believe that it is a valuable occupation to be able to pass on skills, knowledge and attitudes to other people. Providing students with opportunities to explore and experience the world around them is an uplifting experience. The best part about teaching children is knowing that you have helped them overcome something difficult and then seeing the smile on their face.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

No. At first I wanted to become a psychologist so that I could help children in need. However, I realised that the best way to help children is to support their learning. Providing support and assistance to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to help them in life is far more effective than solving the problem after it has occurred.

What was involved in your Bachelor of Education course?

It was a four-year course that comprised two years of general studies and two years of professional studies. The first two years involve studying the key curriculum areas that you want to teach. The following two years are professional studies where you undertake three periods of Teaching Practicum in a school. You also undertake curriculum study topics in different subjects.

What does your job involve?

Teaching a class during school hours, training and development, attending staff meetings, preparation for classes, going on excursions and camps, communication with colleagues and parents of students, evidence of planning, and after-school commitments, such as coaching and umpiring.

What aspects of the profession interest you in particular?

I am new to this profession, so everything interests me. I take every opportunity to advance my skills and understanding about teaching. I like to keep up to date with new methodologies and teaching strategies. Providing a valuable and engaging education to my students is important to me.

What advice would you give someone who is starting out?

Find out what the areas of need are, such as specialist teaching areas, and train in them so that you come out with something that an employer sees as valuable. Go to country schools on your Teaching Practicum so that you can build links with country schools and perhaps win a permanent teaching position. Unless you have a specialist training that's in need, you may get permanency only in the country.

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