By Leah Whitmore
My inspiration to become a primary school teacher originated in my final years of high school when I was helping to teach kindergarten and pre-primary children.
The influence of the teachers I worked with during this time shaped my desire to be a compassionate, strong and supportive role model for the children that walk into my future classroom.
To achieve my goal of becoming a teacher I had to move away from my small hometown, my mum and my friends so that I could begin my Bachelor of Primary Education in Perth.
Moving away from my comfort zone to an unknown environment was a big step for me. Living away from home means I have the pressure of paying for all of life’s necessities. It was definitely a big shock and took some adjustment.
At the time of these changes I was also diagnosed with the life-altering autoimmune condition; Type 1 Diabetes, which posed a major barrier to my ability to study and work at the same time.
It took me many months to adapt and stabilise my condition so that I could participate in part-time work alongside my study. The support AVCAT and my Long Tan Bursary enables me to overcome and manage these multiple challenges.
I am now in the second year of my four-year degree and it still amazes me how much my love for teaching continues to grow.
I have applied for and will be starting the service-learning program PLaN with a local primary school, as part of this program I will be gaining hands on experience that will enhance my final portfolio and increase my future employment opportunities.
AVCAT has enabled me to participate in this additional career development program, alongside my university course. I am excited to see where the next chapter of my learning experiences take me.
Leah was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2019.