Choosing maths teaching adds up for Emma
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.
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.
PASSIONATE: Teacher Emma Weber, with students (from left) Tilly McCormack, Lucy White and Olivia Goldsmith.