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From Physics to Pedagogy: How one student found her true calling through Curtin Extra

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“Go slow, to go fast” is the best piece of advice that education student, Lauren, has been given. What’s yours?

Originally from Geraldton, Lauren has always wanted to become a teacher. However, instead of pursuing a career in education after graduating high school, she moved to Perth and started an undergraduate degree in Physics. After two years, she realised that although she enjoyed learning about physics, she wasn’t a fan of the theoretical side. 

After dropping out and taking some time off in Geraldton, she decided to give teaching another go. Lauren thought her people skills and love for learning could get her excited again about teaching at a secondary level. She’s now in her second year of education and loving everything about it!

Lauren’s favourite part of her studies are the opportunities she’s been involved with, specifically through the Curtin Extra program. Throughout her degree, she has been involved with Curtin Volunteers, where she is currently a Curtin Volunteers leader, and most recently, the Curtin Ahead program. Through this program, Lauren has engaged with high school students from diverse and low equity groups, to prepare them for tertiary study. In particular, she enjoys the opportunity of being able to encourage students in beating the odds and enhancing their learning experiences.

Lauren loves connecting with her students and treasures how her work with Curtin Ahead makes a huge impact on the lives of the students she works with.

Being involved in Curtin Leaders was also another memorable experience for Lauren. This was a semester long experience where she got to know a lot of people, learn, and develop both personal and professional skills. This experience has helped her to develop good habits and a wide range of skills to increase her employability in the future.

Before getting into the Curtin Leaders program, Lauren had the assumption that it would be your typical workshopping program. To her surprise, the program offered much more, such as self-development practices and workshops that helped her to define her own leadership. Now, she refers back to everything she has learned constantly, and continues to use this as a motivator in her everyday life.

Being involved has allowed her to make genuine friendships and connections with the different people she works with, and has exposed her to different and unique experiences. From afternoon drinks at the Curtin Tav, to playing casual table tennis games, Lauren has built long lasting friendships with her peers.

The most challenging realisation for Lauren is knowing she will graduate later than most her friends. However, she realises that moving away from physics has led her to doing what she loves the most.

“Go slow, to go fast. I first heard it working on the farm. If you fix something and you rush it, and it doesn’t work, then you’re likely going to have to fix it again. So go slow, to go fast is really important. And this applies to what I’ve been doing with uni as well.” After graduation, Lauren plans to take her degree into the education space where she aspires to help students make the most of their learning – whether this is through traditional classroom teaching, or getting involved with after school programs that encourage students to go beyond their studies, similar to the Curtin Ahead program.

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