Paving the way for Budding Teachers
Teachers are some of the most important and influential people in society and every year AFL SportsReady helps pave the way for a number of young people who are eager to become school teachers.
Former trainee, Tabitha Southey, is one of those people and thanks to her traineeship. Is now working as a PE and Health teacher at Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College in Victoria, and next year will take on her dream role as Year Level Coordinator.
“I love teaching so much and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in the world,” said Tabitha.
“Thanks to my traineeship I was able to achieve this dream. I am just so grateful for all the opportunities I was given,” she added.
Like many young people, learning in a classroom wasn’t something that resonated with Tabitha and in her final years of school, she struggled with exams.
“I was not strong academically and I was a very fidgety and hyperactive student.
In my final VCE exams in 2011 I became unwell and applied for special consideration and was really struggling to get through.
In the end the score I received didn’t allow me to get into the University course I was hoping for in teaching.”
Despite her score, Tabitha didn’t want to give up on her dream of one day becoming a school teacher.
“I was driven and determined to find another way and then I saw a traineeship opportunity with Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill. I applied and I got the job right away!”
In 2012, Tabitha began her traineeship journey where she studied a Certificate IV in Sport Development.
The following year the school offered her a second traineeship to study for a Diploma in Sport Development.
“What I love about the traineeship is that it doesn’t factor in your academic score. It acknowledges the fact people learn differently.
I just don’t learn when I am sitting in a classroom or lecture theatre.
For me, I learn when I am in the environment and that’s what the two-year Traineeship offered me, an immersive and exciting experience where I lived and breathed teaching. Where I worked with students, where I interacted with other teachers and where I learnt how a school really worked.”
Having no doubt in her mind teaching was the career for her. After her two-year Traineeship at Our Lady of Sion. Tabitha went on to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science (Health and Physical Education) at RMIT University.
“I found University challenging and I was diagnosed with major depressive and anxiety disorder which made It even more difficult.
However, I persevered, and it was my traineeship that gave me the motivation to push through because I knew at the end of this degree, I was going to be a teacher.”
Tabitha didn’t just get through University, she aced it, and received second-class honours in her bachelor’s degree, an incredible achievement.
“My traineeship inspired me to keep going, to work harder, to study harder, to be the best student I can be so I can be the best teacher.
Through my traineeship I was surrounded by amazing mentors and colleagues who were like role models to me.
My Field Officer Lauren Ferguson was someone I deeply admired. She was an amazing Mentor and Field officer who taught me, with compassion and nurture but was also firm and pushed me to complete my studies. I saw her as someone I wanted to be.”
After graduating from University, Tabitha was offered a role! At Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College and has so far loved every single moment of her career.
“I fell in love with the school immediately.
I absolutely adore and love my students and will always go above and beyond for them.”
From making individualised exam packs for her students to hosting 80’s themed aerobic classes. Incorporating yoga sessions and selfie walks through the COVID-19 period. It is plain to see that Tabitha adores what she does and will make sure her students are getting the best possible support.
Mentoring and tutoring young people is also something Tabitha is passionate about.
“I want to pass on my positive experiences to young people. To make them aware that your final score doesn’t define you, that there are other options out there, like traineeships.
My traineeship got me to where I am right now so I want to share my positive experiences and my journey and show others that there is hope and you can achieve your career dreams.”