Age won’t stop mother-of-four from reaching teaching career goals

23 OCTOBER 2023

Age won’t stop mother-of-four from reaching teaching career goals

A mother-of-four is reaching her career goals with the help of Charles Sturt's Collaborative Teachers Aide Pathway. She talks about pursuing her dream while in her 40s ahead of World Teachers Day on Friday 27 October

A Winmalee mother-of-four has decided you are never too old to learn, or to start to teach others. She reflects on how Charles Sturt University’s Collaborative Teacher’s Aide Pathway program helped her achieve her dream of becoming a teacher ahead of World Teacher’s Day on Friday 27 October.

Mrs Kerrie Killeen thought she would never fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher until she took the plunge embarking on this pathway at 43 years of age.

She worked in retail since she was 16 before taking a 12-year break while raising her youngest three children. It was during this break from the workforce she began spending time helping in the classroom at her children’s school.

While completing practical hours for her Certificate 4 in Education Support at Winmalee Public School, her passion for teaching was reignited.

Kerrie was further inspired by her brother who also began teaching last year, aged 41.

She started exploring pathways and found Charles Sturt’s Collaborative Teachers’ Aide Pathway (CTAP). The program recognises the skills and previous study of students to help them complete an online teaching degree.

“I had been looking for an opportunity to study online, due to my work and family life, and I stumbled upon the CTAP that had recently been launched … and I had heard great things about Charles Sturt University,” she said.

Kerrie is a second-year student studying the Bachelor of Educational Studies in the Charles Sturt School of Education with the assistance of CTAP. She has received positive results, which allowed her to study at 75 per cent over three trimesters, allowing her to complete her degree in two-and-a-half years.

She can apply for permission to teach at the start of the Master’s in the new school year, which will be 2025 in her case.

“It has made my first year at Charles Sturt University engaging and allowed me to achieve positive results,” she said.

“I would not have been able to transition to teaching had I not found this pathway as an option.

“The Bachelor of Educational Studies felt like it would take too long to start at 43, but with the CTAP, I will be in the classroom teaching at age 46.”

Kerrie lives with her husband and three of their four children at their home in Winmalee in the Blue Mountains. They also share their residence with chickens, a red kelpie cross and an ant farm, a recent hobby of her son’s.

Kerrie’s long-term career goal is to teach at her current school as a classroom teacher, working with small groups in learning support or to support the school’s most diverse students with their learning needs.

World Teachers Day is on Friday 27 October and Kerrie said this day provides teachers with recognition for their responsibility in guiding the next generation of humans.

“If we fail to acknowledge and recognise the amazing job teachers do within our community, future teachers may not consider the profession as important or a valuable career path when looking into their career options,” she said.

“Our society cannot thrive without passionate, dedicated and respected teachers.”

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mrs Kerrie Killeen, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or news@csu.edu.au

Photo caption: Kerri Killeen pictured with a mural of Winmalee Public School's totem, a rainbow lorikeet.

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