In a class of their own

12 March 2015

Bachelor of Education graduate Tali Burton in her classroom at Claremont College.
Bachelor of Education graduate Tali Burton in her classroom at Claremont College.

"After my first day of teaching, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life," says Patrick Madden, a recent University of Sydney graduate who is now teaching at Hurstville South Public School.

"I am on a Year 5/6 class this year. It's a fantastic school where staff work in collaboration with one another. For example, every staff member has to be on a curriculum committee where they develop whole-school scope and sequences for all areas of the curriculum. They also have an innovative classroom design, with every classroom having a smaller room for micro-teaching linked to the next classroom,and every child has their own iPad."

It's a similar story for other Bachelor of Education graduates, who are enjoying the rewards and challenges that come with school life.

Tali Burton says the skills and experience she gained doing four professional experience placements while at University have helped her adapt to the co-teaching model. Her practica involved 17 weeks divided between four different public schools across Sydney. After graduating, she became a teacher at Claremont College, an Anglican co-educational primary school in Coogee.

"Claremont is a co-teaching school, with 56 students shared between two teachers and a teacher's aide, so that has been a change from the single teacher classrooms I have been in," says Burton.

"Claremont has also recently been awarded a research grant to investigate the effects of the co-teaching model on student outcomes. In the final year of the Bachelor of Education program we spent a lot of time talking about research in a school context, and I am so glad that I can bring this knowledge to our project," says Burton.

Lara Early says she knew she wanted to teach young children with disabilities after doing her honours thesis on special education and autism. With a full-time classroom teaching role at St Gabriel's School in Castle Hill, she now teaches seven students with varying disabilities and needs.

"I had done some work as a teacher’s aide in another special school while I was still in university and this was where I really discovered that I wanted to work with children with disabilities. I just find it to be a very rewarding career path even though it is definitely challenging. I guess I just enjoy the challenge and the different sort of approach that is required in this sort of a setting," says Early.

"My job is definitely full of many challenges each day as you could imagine. But I really feel that the preparation I had at Sydney University was the best that I could have received and it has allowed me to think creatively as a teacher to come up with the best methods to try and teach these children."

Find out more about the Bachelor of Education in primary and secondary education.

Media enquiries: Luke O'Neill: (02) 9114 1961, 0481 012 600,