I must say that this entire experience has flown by so quickly, and it is such a shame that it’s over so soon! I am extremely grateful for receiving this opportunity as I have grown up, experienced and learnt so much in such a short period of time. The past four weeks have had its ups and downs, however I am proud to say that everything I wanted to experience and learn when I applied for the scholarship, I have accomplished.
One of the things I really wanted to do was respond and reflect on the mentoring and feedback provided by teachers. I was hoping to learn this through my practicums, and the teachers in Proserpine were great in helping me do this. I responded well to the constructive feedback I received in terms of lesson planning, and completed daily self-reflections, which also helped me grow and learn as an individual, and as a professional.
I also tried really hard to link what I have learnt at university about educational theory, policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks by applying them to my activities and practices at Proserpine. I ensured that when I planned my activities and consecutive teaching days, I put the student’s interests and abilities first. I tried hard to challenge them in certain area and was really pleased with how I planned and engaged the students in my lessons.
I learned that it is really important to work closely with the children, colleagues, parents and the wider community as it helps provide effective pedagogies when working with young children.
Working at Proserpine Public Kindergarten, in a rural town, was also a really great experience as the lifestyle, students and community are extremely different to Brisbane. I noticed that when I was at the centre, the parents are extremely involved in their child’s education, and would often stay throughout the morning and provide assistance to the educators. They were really interested in helping and supporting you throughout your experience by offering their time, help and compassion. I have formed great relationships with the people in the town, and it’s been extremely hard having to leave my newly formed friendships behind. I have learnt so much not only from the children and colleagues at the centre, but also from the parents and the community.
Having to live out of home has given me insight into what it is like to be independent and grow as an individual. As I was only alone for a week, in that short time I was exposed to many things, which made me grow up and learn how to be street smart. I also had so much more responsibility, such as cooking meals, doing the groceries, budgeting my finances, waking up and getting myself to work etc. All these experiences contributed to me maturing as an individual and learning independence and responsibility without having to rely on my family. Not only did I learn these things, but I also learnt about another cultures. This will be of specific value to me as an educator where my future classrooms will be filled with students from diverse backgrounds.
I really enjoyed living in a place where there is a greater sense of community, and was so grateful for everything that the Proserpine community has done for me in these four weeks. I have loved every minute of my experience at Proserpine, although I had a bit of a challenging first week, and I hope that the skills I have learnt will stay with me in the future. I look forward to continue my studies for the next two years. I know that I will work closely with the children, parents, colleagues and the community to ensure that quality provision of care are being upheld, as it proved to be the most effective way to provide educational experiences to students.
In the future I can see myself continuing to go to rural towns to educate children. Although I will miss everyone and I have built professional relationships with everyone in Proserpine, I am so happy to be home to see my family and tell them about everything they have missed out on.