Choos­ing maths teach­ing adds up for Emma

Warwick Daily News - - CAREERS - Q&A with Emma We­ber, mid­dle/se­nior school math­e­mat­ics teacher, St Peter’s Girls’ School

WHAT’S YOUR ROLE?

A TYP­I­CAL day in­volves teach­ing five or six math­e­mat­ics lessons for classes across years 7–12. I also take my Year 10 home group class for a well­be­ing ses­sion two or three times a week. Other ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude yard duty, af­ter-school meet­ings, school as­sem­blies, chapel ser­vices and lunchtime maths sup­port ses­sions. In ad­di­tion, I coach a net­ball team and this year I have taken on the role as Head of Ken­nion House, sup­port­ing our mid­dle and se­nior school stu­dents with all house-based ac­tiv­i­ties.

WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?

Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion (Mid­dle/Se­nior) and Bach­e­lor of Science, with a ma­jor in math­e­mat­ics and mi­nor in physics, from Flin­ders Uni­ver­sity. I also stud­ied a range of other sci­ences in­clud­ing chem­istry, bi­ol­ogy and earth sci­ences.

WHY ED­U­CA­TION?

Leav­ing school, I never thought I would pur­sue a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion. I took a gap year and started study­ing psy­chol­ogy. Dur­ing this time, I be­gan nan­ny­ing and tu­tor­ing and dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for teach­ing.

TEACH­ERS HAVE BELOW-AV­ER­AGE UNEM­PLOY­MENT – IS THAT SUR­PRIS­ING?

Yes and no. I believe there is plenty of de­mand for teach­ers, al­though there are some ar­eas where the sup­ply of teach­ers out­weighs the de­mand, leav­ing these ed­u­ca­tors with very com­pet­i­tive ap­pli­ca­tion pro­cesses to se­cure a po­si­tion. Where pos­si­ble, teach­ers need to be open to both work­ing in the metropoli­tan area and ru­rally to in­crease their em­ploy­a­bil­ity.

AD­VICE FOR AS­PIR­ING TEACH­ERS?

Gain as much ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­si­ble be­fore fin­ish­ing uni­ver­sity, in­clud­ing ex­tra school ob­ser­va­tions, place­ments and at­tend­ing pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment early on.

Once grad­u­at­ing, be open to do­ing re­lief work at a va­ri­ety of schools to help net­work and get your­self out there.

Be smart about the sub­jects you study at uni­ver­sity and make sure they lead to a range of teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties within schools, es­pe­cially in sub­jects that have a de­mand for teach­ers. At the mo­ment, this would cer­tainly in­clude STEM sub­jects – science, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics.

Photo: Jo-Anna Robin­son

PAS­SION­ATE: Teacher Emma We­ber, with stu­dents (from left) Tilly McCor­mack, Lucy White and Olivia Gold­smith.

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