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Sarah’s Learning Journey: From the Office to the Classroom

Posted August 31, 2023

Today we’re delighted to present Sarah’s story. She began her learning journey with us in 2017, which led to “an undeniable passion to teach” and ultimately a new career.

Sarah with VET Coordinator Ancy and Trainer Marg on graduation day
Sarah with VET Coordinator Ancy and Trainer Marg on graduation day

“In 2017 I felt my life had arrived at a crossroads. I was working in a drafting office and I enjoyed my job. Most days were spent talking with clients and making corrections to Town Planning applications. I had also been given the opportunity to share my expertise teaching at a local TAFE.

This awakened an undeniable passion to teach! But could it be a new career?

I had dedicated a lot of time to learning my job, was it wise to change industries now? I had just turned 40 and wondered if it was too late. Also, I was feeling a bit fragile, having just left a significant personal relationship.

But I couldn’t deny the joy I felt from teaching. I wanted to do it full-time, however, TAFE could offer me only a few hours per week on a casual basis. Moreover, the government had just announced huge budget cuts to the TAFE sector. I couldn’t justify leaving my job and leaping into the commitment of several years full-time study at uni based on one great teaching experience! I needed security because apart from any doubts I had about successfully changing careers, I also had a child to support and rent to pay.

I saw a flyer about the Prace Certificate III in Education Support at my son’s school and later noticed an ad for the program in the local paper. Then when a friend suggested that Prace might be the place for me, I decided the universe was trying to tell me something. I took a leap of faith and enrolled in the ‘Returning to learning module’. This experience sparked joy and I quickly enrolled in the Certificate III.

I was quite nervous about taking the risk of going back to study, but everyone at Prace was very supportive, on both a professional and personal level. Our classes included a lot of people who were unsure of themselves. We had mums hoping to return to work, people newly arrived from overseas and young people without much experience. We were all just trying to find our way.

The support was so important and Prace really felt like a safe place to test ourselves.

I did well in my studies and was offered a placement at Waratah Special Developmental School. I thrived on the challenge of putting the theory into practice and when I finished my placement I was offered a paid position at the school.

After completing the Prace program I could say with certainty that teaching was the way forward for me.

I enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and remained working at Waratah for the duration of my studies, graduating in July 2022. I’m now in my first year of full-time teaching Year 3 students at a local school and love my new career.

The people at PRACE were so supportive and the program was in-depth. It was the perfect stepping-stone to gaining the confidence, clarity and subject knowledge I needed for university.

During my time doing casual relief teaching work at different schools before finding my current position, I often heard about the connections Prace has and their reputation for providing the industry with competent, knowledgeable and dedicated graduates.

I’ll always have very fond memories of my time at Prace, it was the beginning I needed for an amazing journey to a new life. “


Find out more about our Certificate III in School Based Education Support course and embark on a new career today!