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How to survive (and thrive) in your first teaching placement


Media and content team
6 August 2021
Nicholas Colbrelli Adams Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student Nicholas Colbrelli-Adams

“A significant element of my placement was in building rapport with students early on, chatting and getting to know them helped with student engagement in the classroom” Bachelor of Arts and Education student Nicholas Colbrelli-Adams shares on this week’s episode of the SCU Buzz podcast.

Nicholas is a Southern Cross University student ambassador, radio host and budding physics teacher. He's studying the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) combined degree with the aim of becoming a secondary mathematics and physics teacher. After completing his first teaching placement, Nicholas shares his insights on how to survive your first placement as a student teacher, and how teaching actually has a lot in common with being a radio host.

"It was good to get out on placement and start putting what I’d learned into practice in the classroom. Being able to get out there and communicate, talk to people, make friends, have a chat with someone - that's all stuff that will be helpful when I start teaching," Nicholas shared.  

During his time in radio, Nicholas found his ability for public speaking and critical thinking expand with each experience, becoming transferable into skills to help him as a teacher. The ability to talk to people from various backgrounds, as well as manage different challenges along the way have played a big role in building his confidence in the classroom.

"The great thing about Southern Cross University is that they organise the placements for you. They explained where I had to go, I got to chat with my mentor teacher, and it was a really smooth process," Nicholas said.

With professional placements organised by the University, the pressure is relieved for students having to figure it all out. Support systems surround the entire process, making for a smooth student experience that maximises their placement experience.

"You’re treated like a person, not just a number. You can go up and chat with your lecturers and your academics. You've always got that support there."

Hear more from Nicholas in our latest episode of the SCU Buzz podcast with our student host Lauren Munro. Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

Learn more about studying Education at Southern Cross University.