If her future high school students need study tips, preservice teacher Emma White of Noosaville is the right person to give advice on academic success.
Emma has just graduated with a Bachelor of Public Relations from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a near-perfect score of 6.89 from a possible 7, earning a University Medal for her achievement.
And now she’s racking up more top marks towards a Master of Teaching, to fulfil her dream of leading a class of her own.
“I just can’t wait to start teaching,” said the 21-year-old.
“My passion for the profession was ignited after my first day of placement at Sunshine Beach State High School where the teaching staff were incredibly welcoming, knowledgeable and supportive.
“By the end of my placement, I knew this was the start of a rewarding lifelong career.”
Emma said one of the most important aspects of teaching was to form authentic bonds with students, values their individual needs and tailor lessons to help each student’s potential shine.
“My aim is to make the classroom and learning journey as inspiring, creative and fun as possible,” she said.
Emma said it was rewarding to instil values in students such as self-confidence, respect, perseverance and self-love, at a crucial time in their lives as they navigated their futures.
“Many high school students are often facing issues such as bullying, mental health issues, low self-esteem and family problems so I want to create a classroom culture in which every student feels valued and safe to be their true authentic selves and equip them with resilience to overcome life’s obstacles both in and out of school,” she said.
Emma said she enjoyed sharing her experiences at university with students and showing them it was possible to aim high and do well while studying on the Sunshine Coast.
“When you like what you’re studying, it’s not hard to find the motivation to do the assessments, especially if you can do them at the beach,” she said.
Her other top tips for study success were to make good relationships with tutors, attend classes, keep a good diary and always set aside time for family and friends.
Emma said her Public Relations degree – and the industry connections she made throughout her studies – have set her up to teach English and business, while equipping her to engage students through storytelling.
“Teaching is all about the story,” she said.
“You may have a wealth of content knowledge but if you can’t communicate it in a way that engages post-millennials, then it can be harder for students to grasp.”
Emma currently works part-time in USC’s Career Development Team.