Wilmot Rd Primary School continues to value its traineeship teacher program and has recently seen one of the trainees return as a qualified teacher.
Teacher Josh Waight said his one-year traineeship in 2010 shaped his decision to become a teacher after being unsure of his career path after school.
‘‘I finished school in 2009 and decided to do the traineeship; I wasn’t 100 per cent sold on teaching before doing it,’’ he said.
‘‘It made me focus on straight primary education rather than physical education which I was planning on studying.’’
Mr Waight studied in Ballarat and jumped at the chance to apply for his first position as a teacher at Wilmot Rd Primary School in 2015.
He has been at the school since, teaching Year 3/4 and senior students in the past three years.
‘‘It can be challenging, but it’s rewarding seeing the students develop, seeing them click and understanding the lessons,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a journey at the start of the year and the students progress throughout the year.’’
Riley Williams started his traineeship this year and is enjoying the experience and plans on doing further studies in education with La Trobe University.
‘‘At the moment I feel almost like a big brother to the students and because of our age they open up to us a bit more,’’ Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams and Selwyn Lui have been working closely with the school’s indigenous students as mentors.
Mr Lui joined the school from the Academy of Sport Health and Education and has had a support role working with students.
‘‘It’s one of the best jobs I have had, you feel you are doing something important,’’ he said.
‘‘I work with the indigenous students and I really want them to succeed and go on to graduate high school and get into good jobs.’’
Mr Lui has a background in community services and hopes to work within the community.
Fellow trainee Lauren Murray works with foundation students and said the opportunity had been an eye-opener and she was considering teaching as an option.
Miah Shannon finished high school last year but did not want to go straight into university and thought he should do something more challenging than earning money in a retail job.
‘‘I see teaching as a back-up to pursue but hope to become a sport journalist,’’ he said.
Wilmot Road Primary School student well-being and community relationships co-ordinator Paul Greenwood said trainees in their role as educational support staff in the school were truly valued.
‘‘It is a great opportunity that many school leavers should consider, you just don’t know where it may lead you, just ask our teacher Joshua Waight who came here as a trainee,’’ Mr Greenwood said.