SuniTAFE Teacher Accepted into Teaching Fellowship Program

20 Jul 2023

SuniTAFE Teacher Accepted into Teaching Fellowship Program

SuniTAFE Teacher of the Year Jess Kendrigan has commenced the VET Development Centre (VDC) Teaching Fellowship Program.

The Fellowship Program is designed to support new VET teachers to develop strategies and skills to be a better educator. The program is exclusive, with only a small number of teachers accepted each year.
“I was nominated by one of my colleagues, and after that I had to write a 300-word summary of why I feel I should be accepted. From the pool of nominees, the VDC selects just 15 fellows. I was lucky to be one of them,” Jess said.

As part of the VDC Fellowship, Jess has participated in personal development sessions focusing on time management and using resources that best suit the target audience.

She has now been placed into a research group based upon her areas of interest, and gets to delve into a topic that will inform her teaching.

“The topic that my research group will be looking at is concerned with how to engage students that have anxiety, ADHD, and other barriers to learning.”

“As a group, we will research this and put it together in a presentation. Senior leaders across all of the TAFEs involved are then invited to watch these presentations in September,” she said.

Jess is excited to continue with this program and develop her skills. However, she is also hoping this experience will be ultimately positive for her students too.

“If I am benefitting on a personal development level, then I imagine that would filter through to my education delivery. This is the main reason why doing this was so important to me and why I felt so privileged to be selected. It is giving me a really good opportunity to reflect on my practices and enhance them.”

“We’ve had some withdrawals from our courses recently, so through this Fellowship, I hope to look at ways we can reduce this and address the current issues, and make our courses better for the students,” she said.
A crucial aspect of improving as an educator is being able to learn from a diverse group of peers both inside and outside the Institute.

“It’s been really fantastic to network with other people outside of SuniTAFE. I think we get a little bit lost in the fact that we’re in a SuniTAFE bubble, especially because we’re so far away from other Institutes.”

“Forming these relationships with other RTOs is really important. The other fellows in the program have interesting stories to share and are really admirable, I can see them being great mentors going forward. I feel that I have established connections that I will keep throughout my career,” Jess said.

SuniTAFE is looking forward to following Jess’ progress through the VDC Fellowship and will provide updates in the upcoming months. 

 Read more about Jess and her teaching here.