Schools see benefit from internships
Five final-year Murdoch University education students are preparing to graduate after a oneyear internship at secondary schools in the Pilbara.
The internships target speciality areas, teachers of which have historically been challenging for Pilbara schools to attract such as maths, science and physical education.
Hayley Clarke was one of three positioned at Karratha Senior High School as a physical education teacher.
Ms Clarke said her experience had exceeded expectations.
“The workload can be hard with uni and teaching expectations, but you just have to be organised and embrace every opportunity you have,” she said.
Ms Clarke has accepted an offer to stay on as a teacher at KSHS for at least two more years.
“I was already in the school, so it was an easy choice when I was offered the job, because I know the kids, I know the processes and have awesome friends around the school already,” she said.
“I’m already pretty highly involved in the community, which has helped me with the internship.
“I’d look to get more involved now I know I’m staying here.”
KSHS principal Greg Kelly said the internship program had allowed the school to put workforce management plans in place a year earlier than usual.
“With 2016 being the third year the school has been involved in this program, we are seeing the enormous benefits of offering teaching positions to our interns, and them passing on their positive experiences to others who are considering working in the Pilbara,” he said.
“It’s certainly been a great program to attract and retain teachers in the Pilbara.”
Pilbara Development Commission acting chief executive Terry Hill said the internships offered students a practical learning experience which would leave them well prepared for a teaching career.
“High-quality teachers play an important role in shaping students’ experience during their primary and secondary education,” he said.
“Access to quality education and learning opportunities is a key part of achieving the Pilbara Cities vision.
“This program positions Pilbara secondary schools as excellent learning environments for student teachers, while also offering them a taste of the Pilbara lifestyle.”
The program will continue in 2016, with one intern each placed at Karratha, Hedland and Newman senior high schools.
The workload can be hard with uni and teaching expectations, but you just have to be organised and embrace every opportunity you have. Hayley Clarke
Hayley Clarke, Aroha Haumaha, KSHS Principal Greg Kelly, Pilbara Development Commission acting chief executive Terry Hill, Ryan Ansell and Elliot Li.