Sophie Lamb - Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary)
With an Honours degree in classical singing, Sophie Lamb was initially set on a very different life path. Performing as a soloist with the New Zealand Opera Chorus and in choirs, Sophie was also working for an interior design wholesale company, until she discovered a new passion: music education.
As Sophie Lamb completed her Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance, she developed a passion for music education – specifically, looking at how to make music education more accessible in primary schools, and how to upskill generalist primary school teachers.
“It was though this research where I found I wanted a generalist training and first-hand experience in the primary classroom. I have always been drawn to teaching and working with young people as I am interested in people’s stories, backgrounds, and how people learn. The Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) seemed like the perfect course to foster this passion.”
Throughout the one-year programme, Sophie says the value was immense.
“I found the course content engaging, the lecturers supportive and knowledgeable, and plenty of opportunities for valuable teaching and learning experiences while on practicum. I thoroughly enjoyed attending lectures on campus where there was plenty of time for discussion and bouncing ideas off and with peers about practicum experiences, course content, and assignments as we navigated this rewarding but intense year!”
The year wasn’t without challenges, but Sophie says it taught her valuable lessons.
“Initially, managing the workload was a challenge. There are many assignments, papers, and practicum commitments which meant it took some time to figure out how to best manage my time so that I completed everything to a standard I was happy with and so I could get the most out of this course!
“I definitely figured out the balance but it was important to take the time to do so. Time management is such a valuable lesson and will be so helpful throughout my future teaching career!”
I have felt a huge shift in my confidence which has been enhanced by successes on practicum, understanding theoretical concepts around maximising student learning, discussions with my cohort, and working with and observing my ATs in practice.
Sophie says one of the most rewarding changes she’s
noticed is the growth in confidence in her own abilities and teaching style.
“When I consider how nervous I was getting up in front of
a class in my first practicum to teaching in my last practicum, I have felt a
huge shift in my confidence which has been enhanced by successes on practicum,
understanding theoretical concepts around maximising student learning,
discussions with my cohort, and working with and observing my ATs in practice.
“I feel I have developed a tool kit of strategies and
techniques that I can take into next year and continue to develop as I gain
more teaching experience.”
Her time on practicum was a big highlight of the year.
“I have had two fantastic practicum experiences which
have both been varied and challenging. My first experience was in an ILE with
year 3 and 4 students - I loved the opportunity to work in an environment which
focused on collaboration with staff and connecting and building relationships
with a greater number of ākonga.
“My second experience was in a te reo Māori bilingual
unit with New Entrants, Year 1, and Year 2. Having the opportunity to be
immersed in reo and tikigana Māori in the classroom context was a privilege and
has been instrumental to my future practice.
“I found that being in the classroom, learning from and
observing my Associate Teachers in both schools provided some of the richest
learning opportunities from the year. Practicum was an opportunity to explore
some of the theoretical concepts we discussed at university and translating
these into a practical context provided a framework and scope to figure out how
I shape my teaching practice to date and in future.
“There is nothing more rewarding than being on practicum
and feeling like you have made a difference to tamarikis learning. The Graduate
Diploma in Teaching (Primary) is an exciting yet challenging course. Be
prepared to work hard as managing assignments, course work, and practicum makes
it an intense year but by putting in the work, the course is highly rewarding.”