Teaching Schools Graduate has promising future ahead 

By Damita Whiteley

Nothing has prepared Nathan Meurant more for a career in teaching than the practical experience gained through the St Thomas Aquinas Teaching Schools Institute (STATSI).

Nathan participated in the STATSI Teacher Cadet program over the past two years while completing his Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). 

The Teacher Cadet program delivers an integrated, hands on development approach to Teacher Education in Tasmania, aimed at those seeking a vocation in Catholic education after their degree. 

There are three components to the program: a weekly school placement as a paid Cadet Teacher working alongside a qualified Mentor Teacher, a weekly intensive Teacher Development Session, and an online university Bachelor of Education or Master of Teaching degree.

Nathan enjoyed his placements with Holy Rosary Catholic School and Guilford Young College in the South, and St Patrick’s College in the North.

“One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for teaching is to actually be in a classroom for an extended period of time,” Nathan said. 

“I got to learn instructional techniques, behavioural management techniques for students, and because I have been in a classroom for so long now I am comfortable with interactions with the children.” 

With Nathan completing his Masters studies online, he found the Teacher Cadet program allowed him to be a part of a wider community and gain those essential in-person experiences. 

“I have enjoyed being able to meet with people weekly and have that sense of community that people in university don’t necessarily get. It makes you feel that belonging too,” Nathan said. 

At the end of the program Teaching Cadets will have had the opportunity to acquire up to 350 days of school-based experience, complete their degree, and attain their A, B and C Catholic Accreditation requirements for teaching Religious education in Catholic Schools.

Nathan found that the comprehensive program equipped him with all the skills he needed and cemented his certainty that Teaching was the career for him.

“I have really enjoyed my time with the school and am looking forward to working,” he said.

“I have found that teaching is a natural fit for my skillset.” 

Kathy Gaskin, Teaching Schools Director at Catholic Education Tasmania, said it had been a pleasure to work with Nathan and she thought he had a promising future ahead as a Teacher. 

“Nathan is a lovely man, he is very intelligent, he thinks deeply about everything, and he is fun and humorous too,” Kathy said.

“I think the thing that struck me the most about Nathan was his humility, he is just so humble about what he does.

“It has been wonderful to watch him really blossom over the years too. When he came back from his first placement he was so much more confident, it was great to see.” 

Nathan has been on an exciting journey over the years, originally completing a Bachelor of Music at UTAS, with dreams of becoming a professional musician.

Life led him to other places and he found himself doing disability support work, where he had his first ever teaching experience in an unexpected setting.

“I started teaching some of my clients how to play the drums and I realised this was a fun and interesting path for me, so I applied for my Masters of Teaching,” Nathan said. 

While studying his Masters and participating in the Teacher Cadet program, Nathan had another profound experience that would shape his path for the future.

“I know he found his own way to the faith,” Kathy said.

“He wants to teach Religious Education, which is a real credit, he is going to be an incredible asset to Catholic Education.” 

Nathan is looking forward to the future with so many beautiful experiences ahead. He recently married and is excited to commence his professional teaching career.

In 2024 STATSI will have a total of 50 Teacher Cadets in the program.

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