CQUniversity Education student Ashlyn sees teaching as a vocation, not just a career

16 August 2021

CQUniversity Education student Ashlyn Forsaith wants to be a teacher who is dedicated to the wellbeing of her students' not just their academic achievements – and she's well on her way to achieving that goal.

Ashlyn' who works at Mango Hill State Secondary College in Brisbane recently had her determination recognised with a Highly Commended at the 2021 Australian Teacher Aide Awards.

"Like most of us preservice teachers' we're often inspired by the teachers who left an impact on us that we'll never forget. I had so many teachers from Year three onwards and their impact stayed with me throughout my entire schooling'" she said.

"I grew up in the small beach town of Forster' New South Wales and my school's culture was relaxed with an ocean lifestyle that spread across the entire curriculum. In Year 10' I moved up to Queensland and experienced my senior years in a very large' busy Brisbane school. Reflecting back' those teachers who invested time into building the idea that I could do anything really resonated with me.

"I think a lot of people have the misconception that a good teacher is just a subject expert when really' the best teachers I've experienced in my own schooling and in my current role' are the ones who support their students wellbeing' social development and resilience as a person not just another student who needs to pass - that is what makes the difference. I've always wanted to be part of that change for the students I work with."

She said she decided to move to CQUni to study her Bachelor of Education (Secondary) when the daily commute – and overall experience at a larger university – became overwhelming.

"After a year off' my aunty - Samantha Gleeson (former CQUni student and ambassador) - reached out to me in 2017 and encouraged me to go to CQUni. She spoke so highly of CQUni. I never knew that being part-time and distance (online) was even an option and yet it suited me and my learning style so perfectly - I have never looked back'" she said.

Ashlyn is studying part-time while she works at Mango Hill.

"My degree in particular is greatly aligned with 21st Century teaching and learning and from what I've found' not every university offers this kind of meaningful and relevant content'" she said.

"It is clear that CQUni is aware of the shift in Australian education and the way that we teach the future generations. I've been constantly refreshed by the purposeful assessment and found that I've built such an insightful education portfolio already."

She said she was proud to have received the recognition from the Australian Teacher Aide Awards.

"There were about 75 individual nominations across Australia this year' and to be part of the few Highly Commended is just an honour. My current role has given me so many opportunities and experiences that I will carry without me throughout my teaching career and I am proud to be a foundation staff member at Mango Hill State Secondary College'" she said.

"Education is important to ensure the future is filled with resilient' innovative' creative' powerful humans who are making global change for the better. That is the ultimate goal of education.

"I feel like I'm on this incredible trajectory thanks to CQUniveristy and my time at Mango Hill so far. In saying this' I only hope to keep being opened up to opportunities that make a difference' especially to students who need that one person in their corner to encourage their own kind of success whatever that may be.

"I would really like to encourage preservice teachers' at any stage of your study' to put yourself out there - apply to be a teacher aide' volunteer at education events' look into the opportunities that your university offers and create a LinkedIn and Instagram account to share all of your accomplishments and experiences.

"Set yourself up to stand out as a passionate and determined change maker in education. Giving yourself the best chance to connect with experts in the field and liaise with inspiring figures around you will take you on your own journey to success and you will be amazed."