31 October 2018
A career wish made in kindergarten has come true for Kafren Smith who is back at her old school as a teacher after completing a combined degree in Education and Science through USC.
The former Urangan State High School sports captain said it was a milestone moment for her family when she graduated recently from USC.
“I am very proud to not only be the first in my family to go to university, but to also finish high school,” Miss Smith, 26, said.
“It is exciting to be working as an educator as I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 4. I love to learn and every day you are teaching you are learning something new.”
Her USC experience also unearthed a new passion for science, which she is keen to nurture in her students at Urangan High.
“At USC I studied anatomy with a professor who made my desire to be a teacher stronger. Learning from him and finding a profound interest in science was a real highlight,’ she said.
“I love science because it is an area that is always expanding. My special interest is the medical properties of Australian native plants and I am keen to expand my knowledge of agricultural science.
“I currently teach Year 8, 9 and 10 Science and Aquatic Practices and I hope my students catch my enthusiasm and feel hyped to learn something new every day in science.”
Another passion since kindergarten is dancing. “I still dance to this day and have such a strong love of it,” said Miss Smith, who has won national awards for dance and cheerleading.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 3, competing in dance competitions interstate since I was 8 and spent many years dancing in Education Queensland’s Creative Generation events.”
“Earlier this year I taught dance subjects at Innisfail State High and really enjoyed the curriculum side of dance teaching. It is definitely an area I would like to pursue as an educator.”
Miss Smith said the combined USC degree had taught her valuable real-world skills.
“I learned how to juggle multiple activities at once, communication skills between colleagues and students, lesson planning and how to incorporate behaviour management into lessons,” she said.
She said it was exciting to transition to a classroom teacher. “It is a feeling you can’t wait for when you’re in the middle of a practicum and I am really enjoying my job.
“I surprisingly fell straight into a flow of teaching and remembered the advice I had been given from so many great lecturers at USC.”
Applications are open to study at USC in 2019.
— Clare McKay