New teacher in town

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jessie Tol­son

MOSS­MAN woman Ebony Ley­den had a dream to fur­ther her ed­u­ca­tion and af­ter com­plet­ing her Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion just last year, has scored her­self a po­si­tion at the Port Dou­glas State School.

Ms Ley­den com­pleted her ed­u­ca­tion through Re­mote Area Teacher Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram ( RATEP) at the Moss­man Pri­mary School, a com­mu­nity-based teacher ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram that aims to in­crease the num­ber of reg­is­tered in­dige­nous teach­ers and para­pro­fes­sion­als in Queens­land.

‘‘I al­ways wanted to be­come ei­ther a teacher or a nurse but never had the con­fi­dence to even at­tempt univer­sity,’’ Ms Ley­den said.

‘‘Af­ter Year 12 I worked as a teach­ers’ aide and that is when the op­por­tu­nity arose to be­gin fur­ther study.

‘‘Ini­tially, I be­gan a Diploma through TAFE, study­ing at the RATEP site in Moss­man. Upon com­ple­tion, I went straight into my sec­ond year of Univer­sity to study a Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion through the Moss­man RATEP pro­gram.

‘‘It is now four years later and I am a teacher at Port Dou­glas State School teach­ing a beau­ti­ful class of year one stu­dents.

‘‘With­out RATEP I would not be in the po­si­tion I am in to­day. It has pro­vided me with the op­por­tu­nity to study in Moss­man with the same sup­port that on-cam­pus stu­dents would re­ceive. The teacher co­or­di­na­tors have been ex­tremely sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing all the way.’’

RATEP is a joint ini­tia­tive of TNQ TAFE Cairns, Ed­u­ca­tion Queens­land and James Cook Univer­sity.

Now in its 23rd year, RATEP now has 15 sites spread through­out Queens­land from Bamaga in the Far North to Mary­bor­ough in the south, Mt Isa in the west and an ‘off site’ model ser­vic­ing another 12 com­mu­ni­ties and towns through­out the state.

‘‘There is a need for more in­dige­nous teach­ers in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Univer­sity al­ways seemed so daunt­ing to me but the whole scary side is taken away through RATEP. Even if you are just con­sid­er­ing teach­ing as a fu­ture, get in con­tact with the girls at the RATEP site to find out more in­for­ma­tion,’’ Ms Ley­den said.

‘‘Be­ing a be­gin­ner teacher, I con­stantly feel like there is al­ways so much to im­prove on. Re­cently I had John Flem­ing (EQ Ex­plicit Teach­ing Ped­a­gogy Con­sul­tant) come into my class­room to con­duct ob­ser­va­tions for my con­sol­i­da­tion les­son. The feed­back he gave me re­ally boosted my con­fi­dence, es­pe­cially when he said that I was an ‘ex­em­plary’ teacher.

‘‘The sup­port pro­vided by the staff at Port Dou­glas State School has re­ally helped me to grow as a teacher. I have also had the priv­i­lege to work with an amaz­ing bunch of stu­dents that make each day full of hi­lar­i­ous and amaz­ing mem­o­ries.’’

Any in­dige­nous per­son wish­ing to un­der­take study in the area of ed­u­ca­tion should con­tact the school on 4098 3510 and ask about RATEP.

Pic­ture: JESSIE TOL­SON

EX­EM­PLARY:

Ebony Ley­den

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