Personalise my view
Personalise my view

😊 Personalise my view

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Kim's journey from student to educator

While new to teaching community services qualifications to TAFE Queensland students in Toowoomba, Kim McNair is as ‘expert’ as they come, having worked intensively in various community sector roles for the past 13 years.

A TAFE Queensland graduate herself, Kim was employed as a Mental Health Worker within a domestic violence refuge, coordinated a mental health program supporting people at risk of homelessness, and was a Team Leader of a disability service.

Now the next stage of her career sees her sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge with future generations of community service professionals, thanks to TAFE Queensland’s Foundation Educator Program.

“This year I’m teaching community services certificates III and IV and the diploma. I’ll be providing my students with industry-related activities, role-play scenarios replicating real stories of individuals they’ll go on to support, and passing on my practical knowledge of the processes required to meet organisation and industry standards. And obviously all theory components too,” Kim said.

“And while I enjoy teaching all units, my favourite is the mental health and advocacy cluster, due to my roles and experience in industry. It’s a subject I’m very passionate about, especially supporting people at risk of homelessness due to their mental health,” she continued.

Kim first heard about her initial Foundation Educator role from her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116), also known as a TAE, teacher.

The Foundation Educator Program sees industry experts employed and paid as a Foundation Educator whilst completing their TAE through TAFE Queensland, with the latter being fully funded, if completed within 12 months.

The program was designed and developed by TAFE Queensland to attract passionate industry experts and convert them into the highest quality teachers and tutors, swiftly – in direct response to Vocational Education and Training recruitment challenges identified within a new research paper from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

As Foundation Educators progress through each stage of their training qualification, their responsibilities within the classroom increase, under the guidance of the Foundation Educator’s appointed supervisor, who acts as a ‘mentor’ to, and assesses and confirms the Foundation Educator’s required skills and competencies. And on graduation they become a teacher with TAFE Queensland.

When asked if she’d recommend the Foundation Educator Program to others, Kim offered this insight.

“I would say it is a great pathway to teaching at TAFE. You will be supported, mentored and at the end of your course you’ll be rewarded with a qualification and a career as an educator that you will be proud of.”