From vet to high school science teacher

Mildura based vet Hannah Lynch says teaching has always been a passion of hers.  This year Hannah took the leap and is now changing up her career to become a high school science teacher, through La Trobe University’s Nexus program.

‘I love explaining and helping students understand new concepts. I want to be able to use my previous knowledge to make school engaging and interesting.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science and graduated in 2010.   I moved to Mildura in 2011 to work as a country practice Veterinarian. I have worked in an environment that is very dynamic and fast paced, which I feel will be important when building relationships with students,’ Hannah says.

La Trobe’s Nexus program sees students study a Master of Teaching (Secondary), while being paid as a teacher’s aide in a local high school.  The program provides mentoring and professional development, as well as a chance to join a school community while studying.  Hannah is based at Red Cliffs Secondary College.

‘The Nexus program contracts you to a chosen school for two years. This is a wonderful opportunity. I have developed friendships and solid working relationships at a whole school level.  Being at the school every week has helped me to feel welcome and part of the teaching community. I'm so settled here now, especially with the unlimited access to the pod coffee machine!'

Being paid while studying is a huge advantage, however Nexus students say the benefit of the teacher’s aide role far outweighs the pay they receive.

‘The teacher’s aide role has been invaluable.  I have learnt so much about student behaviours, their behavioural assessment reports, trying new things, suggesting things to different students, seeing individual student responses and having hands on work with students in the classroom. The benefit of this role has allowed me to work with students one on one before needing to manage an entire class.’

David Browne, Principal at Red Cliffs Secondary College, says they are delighted to have Hannah as part of the team at Red Cliffs.

‘Hannah has embraced every opportunity to learn throughout the school and in a short space of time has become a respected member of the school community.  She has brought a whole new perspective to learning in the science department and her “real-world” experience is recognised and appreciated by both staff and students.

‘I am a strong supporter of the Nexus program.  It’s a great program for schools to get access to high quality teachers.’

Hannah’s advice to others considering a change of career to become a teacher?

“It isn't as daunting as it may seem. The course is extremely well supported, delivered and simple to navigate.  The Nexus program staff are very approachable, friendly and wanting to help. I have required help during my course and would have been extremely stressed and lost without their support and guidance. Having a point of contact that is knowledgeable, welcoming, and caring -  has meant a lot to me in many ways.’


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