My name is Josh Stephens and I'm assistant principal at Ocean Shores Public School.
When I graduated from Southern Cross University I was very fortunate to be targeted - a targeted grad - and I actually got a position in my first year at Crystal Creek public school, a small little school, rural school just behind Murwillumbah and that really set my journey it was a really strong foundation.
Being a primary school teacher and being a male it's one of the best jobs in the world. You get to go out and be with the students, you get to take sporting groups away, you get to go on camps and you get to just connect with these little human beings who are going to be our future.
The experience at Southern Cross was incredible. I just knew the first day of orientation when I walked in the School had a really good feel about it and they were very welcoming, but they were also able to take each individual and work with each individual.
The great thing about University is they give you this beautiful blend of theory and Southern Cross University give a fantastic or a powerful base of practical teaching.I haven't seen any other university that provides the standard Southern Cross provide.Lismore campus was a great place to study. I met a lot of friends who I still keep in contact with.
My advice would be to know and be passionate about what you want to do at university. If you are unsure or unclear that's okay, just take the time, don't rush. Go out and live, enjoy yourself, have fun and when you do make that decision make sure it's something you're really passionate about.
We really need to be promoting education in a positive way for all but also making sure that we're getting more males into this industry because more males in this industry will make such a huge difference to our overall society in general.
I'm Josh Stevens and that's my story.
Graduate story: Joshua Stephens
Assistant Principal and Year 3/4 Teacher
Ocean Shores Public School
Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Now Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Joshua completed the NSW Higher School Certificate at TAFE then enrolled in his SCU teaching degree because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of children.
"What the lecturers at SCU showed me was that primary teaching isn't just about teaching, it's about everything connecting and building relationships with students and making the classroom a place that's fun and enjoyable. As a teacher, you get to create your own little business in your classroom. You and the students are on a journey to create a space where you want to be every day.
"I love being in the classroom. The students make me laugh. There's always a story or an object they want to share. In a way, you feel like a bit of a movie star because the kids are high-fiving you when you come in. They genuinely want to learn, they want to please, and they generate positive energy.
"As assistant principal, my role is to lead teachers and students in providing high quality, purposeful and stimulating education. It's also about making connections with the wider parent body and the community to encourage their active involvement in the school."
Joshua believes male teachers play an important role in children's development.
"You get to provide students - boys and girls - with different types of learning, knowledge and nurturing."