View all news

Student teachers take to the classroom


Brigid Veale
13 June 2007
A former electronics engineer from Venezuela, a forensic auditor and an accomplished artist are among the talented Southern Cross University students currently sharing their vast experience with local high school students.

More than 45 Bachelor of Education student teachers from the Tweed Gold Coast campus are completing three weeks of practical teaching in classrooms from Murwillumbah to Brisbane. The group includes seven Canadian trainees from Ontario, as well as trainees from Japan and the United Kingdom.

“Some of our trainee teachers have fascinating backgrounds and experience in a variety of professions,” said education lecturer and academic liaison officer at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus, Dr Neville Jennings.

“Many have travelled widely and bring to their teaching a rich store of knowledge that will be of great benefit to local school students.

“This will be their first opportunity to marry theoretical aspects of the course with the realities of the classroom. It tends to be the experience that determines whether someone is destined to be a successful teacher or not.”

Venezuelan Leonardo Borsotti has had the added challenge of giving classes at Murwillumbah High School in English, instead of his native Spanish tongue, but is relishing the experience.

“I worked as an electronics engineer for a telecommunications company before choosing to study teaching in Australia,” he said, “and I’ve come to teaching for a range of personal and social reasons. I hope to return to Venezuela to teach and make a difference and this practicum is a great opportunity to test my skills and work out what’s really relevant to students.”

The experience has been ‘exceptional’ for Burringbar artist Cheryl Campbell, who is teaching visual arts at Kingscliff High School.

“What I have done in my previous life has certainly helped equip me for this challenge,” she said. “But I’m now on the other side of the fence, teaching students to respect their critics and continue to improve themselves and their skills. And it’s not just the teaching but dealing with the students as individuals, with all their complexities, that I am finding most revealing.”

Photo: Southern Cross University student teacher Cheryl Campbell, of Burringbar, prepares for a day’s teaching at Kingscliff High School.