Georgia Hopkins reading to pre-schoolers
According to the Australian Government, it is estimated that there will be a demand for 29,000 pre-primary school teachers and a staggering need for 93,000 primary school teachers over the next five years, or 18,600 in the next year.
Hornsby local, Georgia Hopkins, chose a unique pathway to get the skills she needed to pursue job opportunities as a pre and primary school teacher, with TAFE Digital.
Ms Hopkins said, “Completing a Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood and Care online, while working at Pennant Hills Preschool (PHPS) equipped me with the practical skills and work experience that I needed to pursue a career as a primary school teacher.”
After finishing high school, Ms Hopkins chose to study online with TAFE NSW as a bridge to university and has now been able to apply with advanced standing from the work experience and credited units she’s already completed.
“I have been working at Pennant Hills Preschool for almost two years and am so proud to be part of the school’s family, where I’ve been very fortunate to work with some great mentors,” she said.
Ms Hopkins has always had a strong passion for the environment and conservation, so particularly enjoyed researching how to implement sustainable practices to give the next generation a better understanding of caring from the environment.
“Cultural competency was also of great interest to me, as we live in a really diverse area and I believe we all can be more sensitive and accepting of cultural difference,” she said. “I like to think that each child who comes through PHPS is able to be both an individual and relate to others, while learning respect and tolerance.”
Mr Stephen Chiu, Director at Pennant Hills Preschool, said, “TAFE Digital’s nationally accredited qualifications provided me, as a decision maker in a long day-care setting, with benchmarks on minimum standards required by our educators wanting to work in early childhood.”
Although Ms Hopkins was initially warned that distance learning could be an endless game of ‘telephone tag’, she found her experience with TAFE Digital to be exactly the opposite.
Ms Hopkins is really proud of the work she’s done for the PHPS performing arts concerts. “Every Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and pre-schoolers’ graduations, the centre puts on concerts, which I love organising,” she said. “This past Father’s Day the children performed in three languages, which was a challenge not just for them, but for me too!”
TAFE NSW offers a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth – 5). Prospective students can apply to study the degree in 2020, without an ATAR.
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media and Communications Business Partner. M: 0417 134 048.