Airlie Barraclough has always wanted a career where she can inspire and help kids. After completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary), she’s now living her dream as a Year 6 teacher, influencing the lives of generations to come.
“I have always wanted to work with children and help young people develop positive mental health strategies”, says Airlie. “Starting a career in education was the perfect opportunity for me to pursue these dreams. I am excited to help students become 21st century learners and modern, global citizens.”
Flinders University is a long way from Airlie’s hometown in rural New South Wales, meaning she had to find somewhere to live in Adelaide. She discovered the perfect spot for her would be right on campus where she could easily get to class and take in the beautiful surrounding natural environment.
“Flinders stood out from the other universities as it meant I could live on campus and walk to my classes across the bridge”, says Airlie. “I loved walking around the big campus surrounded by nature. Being able to be outside and away from the city was always nice.”
Everything Airlie needed for a fun and studious university life could be found on campus, from food facilities to support from her tutors.
“I really loved connecting with friendly tutors and appreciated their willingness to help with various assessments when I reached out”, says Airlie. “There was always plenty of resources available in the library to help with assignments. Also, being able to grab a tea and a snack whilst on campus always helped me push through the afternoon classes.”
When it comes to her teaching, Airlie is passionate about creating an environment that is conducive to learning, where students actually want to learn and grow.
“I am very passionate about developing a love of learning in young people”, says Airlie. “I want students to know they are safe, welcomed and belong in my classroom. Teaching students life skills and how to positively cope with life’s challenges, as well as teaching the curriculum, is something I believe strongly in.”
Throughout her degree, Airlie completed three placements, which set her up for success as a teacher in her current role.
“Flinders prepared me for my career as I was able to learn what classrooms were like through my professional placements”, says Airlie. “These were extremely worthwhile and allowed me to put theory into practice. I was able to learn how to become an educator and try various ideas and strategies before starting my teaching career. I learnt so much being in a classroom and observing my mentors. By teaching and receiving feedback from supportive mentors, I was able to learn how to become a teacher in a positive environment.”
Staying organised, making friends and rewarding yourself for the little wins are Airlie’s tips for anyone who’s thinking about studying at Flinders.
“Talk to people in your classes and on campus-chances are they want to chat to a friendly person as well but could also be nervous”, says Airlie. “Also, make sure you have a clear planner or diary to write all your due dates in. Tick your assessments off when you submit them to help remind yourself that you are being productive even when you don’t feel like it. It is important to recognise and be proud of your small accomplishments along the way.”
If you want to follow in Airlie’s footsteps and help inspire and develop generations of young people, click here to learn more about our Education degrees.