Kezia Jaffar - Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary)

Kezia Jaffar always knew she had a passion for inspiring young people, working as a nanny, babysitter and Teaching Assistant at a special education school while she was on her OE in the UK.

“These jobs led me to realising that I wanted to continue to teach and help kids find their passions.”

It was memories of her own experience a teenager in school that made Kezia decide to apply for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary).

“My time at school had a profound impact on me in many ways. There were things that I wished teachers had done and there were also teachers who encouraged me to believe in myself – this helped me build a set of belief systems for myself that has followed me through to adulthood.”

Kezia admitted that time on practicum was a challenge, but one she is grateful for.

“On practicum I experienced teaching a range of students with different needs which was simultaneously tough and rewarding. I prioritised strategies that I wanted to try and focused on small amounts of change and growth in my development as a teacher.”

I have truly enjoyed my first term teaching; it has been everything I thought it would be and so much more.

Kezia Jaffar Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary)

It was forming tight relationships with like-minded people that Kezia enjoyed the most about the programme.

“The education faculty has a real sense of warmth that made me feel at ease. The staff and students alike made the busy year worth it. I felt that my lecturers kept us engaged and gave us plenty of opportunities to develop our pedagogies as beginning teachers.

Kezia has started her teaching career taking a role as a teacher at an innovative learning environment, Ormiston Junior College.

“I have truly enjoyed my first term teaching; it has been everything I thought it would be and so much more. Being a part of a team and getting to teach and learn from my students has been an awesome experience this far.

“I recently said to a colleague who asked me how my first term went that I couldn’t explain the feeling. I felt excited, nervous, amused, worried and eager all at the same time. He replied, there is a word to describe that and that’s ‘teaching’. It’s what makes me want to show up every day.

“The GradDip prepared me to understand that you can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you do not support or foster positive relationships with your students, your teaching holds no meaning. Our lecturers were not only full of knowledge for us to impart to our students, but full of empathy which enabled us to view the classroom through a different lens.”

Kezia recommends anyone who is considering teaching as a profession to follow that curiosity.

“The best thing about being a teacher is that you are constantly learning and growing alongside your students. Your personal and professional development never stops. Teaching can take you far beyond the classroom, as you help young people find and grow their passions, which is priceless.”