Nexus a success for Noah

La Trobe University’s Nexus program goes from strength to strength making a positive impact on schools and communities, celebrating awards and expanding to New South Wales and the primary school sector.  Mildura graduate Noah Rawlings reflects on how the program helped him change up his career.

Noah relocated from Geelong to Mildura’s Chaffey Secondary College in 2021 to take part in the second cohort of Nexus students, after the program launched in 2020.  Previously Noah held a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science.

Nexus is an innovative and first-of-its-kind pathway into teaching, that enables people to transition from other careers, while gaining practical experience in a school setting.

Nexus students take part in our eighteen-month accelerated or two-year Master of Teaching (Secondary) or Master of Teaching (Primary), whilst undertaking paid employment in schools (part-time in first year and full-time in second year). On top of their salary, Nexus students also benefit from up to $14,900 in financial support.

"It was a really great experience to be able to slowly integrate into a classroom.

"I got to learn how to teach a classroom and then getting to put that into practice worked really well.

"For the first semester, it is all online, then the second semester, you go into the classroom once a week for term three, then twice a week for term four.

"In 2022, I was there for 80 per cent of a full-time load as well as my studies, so that was the big jump from the first year.”

In July this year the Nexus program will expand to New South Wales schools, whilst it also this year expanded to the primary schools sector.  Nexus was also recently crowned a category award winner at the inaugural Shaping Australia Awards in the Future Builder Awards for its innovation in motivating students to push the limits and hit the ground running.

Chaffey Secondary Assistant Principal Luke Peak hailed the program as a success.

"I think it is great, it is a win-win: the Nexus participant gets to have that in-classroom professional practice as part of their study working with kids in the classroom," he said.

"At the same time, as a school, we get the benefit of having teachers in the classroom who are being updated with the latest knowledge through their course and at the same time are benefiting from the mentoring we provide.

"Noah has been able to jump in there and teach his classes and develop his practice over time. It has been really positive seeing him develop as a teacher.

"Staffing is a big issue at the moment, particularly in regional schools, so it definitely enables schools to appoint young teachers looking to get into the classrooms."

Victorian Nexus primary participants started their studies in February, while New South Wales students will begin in July.