Graduate: Lauren Hankinson
I was an undergraduate student at Southern Cross University Lismore Campus from February 1998 to November 2001 completing my Bachelor of Education (Honours) and then a postgraduate student at Southern Cross University Tweed Campus from July 2003 to June 2005 completing my Master of Education.
Without a doubt my fondest memories are the one-to-one advice and verbal feedback received from the various staff members in the School of Education on research papers I was writing or had written. To have access to such great minds that had spent their careers in education was invaluable to my becoming the teacher I am today. I also absolutely loved my teaching practicums at local schools. They were an invaluable part of my learning and made all the late nights of assignment writing all the more worthwhile when I could see all the theory I was learning put into practice.
I have worked for the past eleven years in twenty-two different schools as a relieving Assistant Principal, temporary and casual K-6 primary school teacher, technology teacher, Japanese teacher and music teacher. This year, I have created a school website and a school app that has been made available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. I am a presenter at a technology conference held at Jupiters Casino next year where I will be sharing how I teach my students 21st century skills, how teachers can establish their own virtual classroom and how to connect with the school community through blogs and various social media accounts.
From January 2014, I will commence a new chapter in my life as I have just been appointed a permanent employee of the NSW Department of Education as a Principal of a small primary school in Northern NSW. Educational leadership is where I have always hoped my career would lead and I couldn't be more excited to be there at age 33! I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my university studies prepared me well for the career I have had so far and it also gave me the confidence and drive to continue achieving in every job at every school in which I have worked.
I didn't have the typical "university" experience. I lived at home with my parents, went to Uni to attend classes and didn't go to other university events. At times I wonder did I miss out on some possible fun that other students enjoyed but I don't have regrets. I worked hard at university and I believe I gained the respect of my lecturers and tutors, as they knew how serious I was about my dream to be the best teacher I could be. I haven't changed much actually. I still work long hours and strive to achieve in all that I do. I'm lucky to have a supportive and loving partner who never minds the hours I work and can see how happy it makes me to know that I am doing my best for my school and what will benefit my students.