Future teachers delighted to follow SUIT

The Future Teachers Club and an innovative university program are inspiring the next generation of educators. Glenn Cullen and Jan Dolstra report.

A group of students and teachers standing behind desks. A group of students and teachers standing behind desks.
Image: Perry Celestino, Head Teacher Macquarie Fields High School and founder of the Future Teachers Club, with Dr Joanne Harris (Australian Catholic University Acting Head of School) with public school students undertaking the Step Up Into Teaching (SUIT) program.

Senior students from four south western Sydney high schools hit the books instead of the beach for seven days this summer, taking the first steps towards a career in teaching.

The students, all members of the NSW Department of Education’s Future Teachers Club, attended the Australian Catholic University in Strathfield for the Step Up Into Teaching (SUIT) program – earning a debt-free unit of learning towards a teaching degree.

The Future Teachers Club is a school-based initiative run by teachers for public secondary students interested in pursuing a career in teaching and engages its participants in behind-the-scenes activities to understand the scope and depth of the teaching profession.

The SUIT program helped take that experience to the next level.

The intensive summer school program gave students the opportunity to experience learning in a university environment with other like-minded young people.

Students worked individually and in small groups to understand how children learn, honing their teaching skills and putting them into practice through the Future Teachers program.

Ronald Chan, captain of Macquarie Fields High School, found out about Future Teachers Club through Perry Celestino, Head Teacher at the school and founder of the program.

Doing SUIT was then a no-brainer.

“Naturally, since I want to become a teacher, the content really pertains to me and as a Year 12 student I can now apply it to everyday classes,” Ronald said.

Ronald wants to complete a Bachelor of Arts before eventually teaching advanced English and Modern History.

The SUIT course was also enlightening for Oran Park High School captain Nikhita Garg, who has all but made up her mind about a career in education.

“I’d like to think I will be a future teacher. I come from a line of teachers and would like to continue that. I see myself in a primary school setting,” she said.

Jan Dolstra, Professional Experience Hub Advisor, Teacher Education Partnerships, and key facilitator with the Future Teachers Club, said the partnership with ACU worked on many levels.

“Through their participation in club activities, students were able to deepen their understanding of the complexities of teaching children and young people and the breadth of skills that are required to educate students in a rapidly changing world,” she said.

“The bonus is that students who complete the course get the equivalent of one semester unit’s credit and will be ready to enter university once they finish high school, confident they have made the right decision to become teachers.”

Acting Head of ACU’s School of Education for NSW/ACT, Dr Joanne Harris said students who did the course were advantaged when it came to enrolling in and studying future education degrees.

“As Australia’s largest provider of teachers, ACU is proud to work with our partners to give senior high school students a step up in their journeys to become the educators of the future.”

  • News
Return to top of page Back to top