Emily Carr, now 22, has been dancing from the age of 3 and teaching dance from the age of 15, she has always possessed a strong passion for sport and dance. Emily completed a Bachelor of Dance Education at ACPE, starting in 2017 and graduating 2020. Emily is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher focused on sharing her passion for PDHPE and Dance to the future generations.
Why did you choose to study with ACPE?
From Year 9 in high school I knew that I wanted to become a PDHPE teacher. I had a strong passion for all things sports and dance and wanted to make this dream come true. When searching for places to study I found that ACPE was the only tertiary institution that provided a course catered to both Dance and PDHPE teaching. I knew from that moment on that ACPE would be the best option for me. When researching about ACPE, I also loved the idea that it was a smaller college and that all students/staff members were like a little family. At ACPE you’re not just a number. All lecturers really care about your education and make the effort in getting to know you and supporting you all throughout your degree. I knew that a smaller university with such a nurturing nature would provide me with the skills necessary to succeed in my chosen career. There was no doubt and no need to look further after searching what ACPE had to offer.
What did you enjoy most about your time with ACPE?
Once leaving ACPE, I walked out of there with so many more friendships than I would have ever thought. ACPE is not just a place where you only talk to people in your course and then go home for the day. ACPE was like a home away from home. Everyone knew everyone and we all mingled with people from other courses than our own. These friendships strengthened through opportunities such as Uni Sport Nationals, Open Days, Orientation Weeks and so much more. Uni Sport Nationals was an incredible highlight of my time at ACPE, not only because I was representing ACPE but also because I had the chance to develop and strengthen new friendships as well as compete against universities from all across Australia. I also enjoyed being able to connect with people in the common room throughout each day and through volunteering opportunities such as Orientation Week. Being a welcoming face for newcomers to the college was a rewarding and refreshing experience and it was always great to talk to like-minded people.
What skills did you gain through studying at ACPE?
ACPE provided me with the necessary skills to succeed and grow not only in my career, but also in life. ACPE helped me to improve my communication skills, organisational skills, leadership skills and professionalism. Studying at ACPE I enhanced decision making skills, collaboration with others and time management which are all critical skills needed to succeed in teaching. With the opportunities I experienced at ACPE, I improved the capacity to be adaptable and flexible.
While studying at ACPE, did you complete any internships or general industry experience?
As a part of the Dance Education degree I completed four teaching practicums in schools, a total of 80 days in the industry. These practical experiences were the key part of my degree which taught on-the-job skills that you can not learn in a theoretical way. These practicums helped with my confidence and communication as a graduate teacher.
During my time at ACPE I also took up opportunities to be a volunteer for both the ACHPER and the PDHPETA Conferences. These conferences allowed me to make professional connections with a wide range of education staff and as such I was offered many additional volunteering opportunities as well as school teaching positions.
Along with those, I additionally worked with Got Game to gain further industry experience. I gained this opportunity through a careers expo at ACPE. Working with Got Game provided me with the practical skills required to become the best teacher I could be. In this job I taught primary school students varying from Kindergarten to Year 6 further enhancing my confidence and capabilities as a teacher and allowed me to discover what my teaching philosophy was. Teaching these Fundamental Movement Skills to the students made me appreciate how lucky I was to be studying my dream career and identify the growth of the students. Working at Got Game also provided me with additional experience and could happily say that I had taught students from Kindergarten-Year 12 during my 4 years at ACPE.
Whilst at ACPE, I was also working on the Schools Programs team. Working with this team provided me with further industry experience as I was able to teach students in a smaller practical setting using specialised, high-tech equipment to test and improve performance and teach HSC content in a practical form. Teaching a wide number of students from various schools allowed me meet like-minded teachers and make new professional connections with people in the industry as well as share my passion with these students and encourage them to pursue a career in the sporting industry.
Lastly, I was also a Student Ambassador at ACPE. Working at the Student Service desk and assisting ACPE staff further enhanced my communication and organisational skills which are such crucial factors needed in teaching.
Industry experience is so valuable on your resume and this was something always encouraged by ACPE to assist in employment success. I am one who loves meeting new people and taking on new learning opportunities to gain life experiences and I am so grateful that I was able to do so much of this whilst being a student at ACPE.
How did ACPE help set you up for where you are today?
ACPE provided me with the knowledge, leadership and life skills required to succeed in the industry and helped set me up for where I am today. I knew before starting ACPE that teaching was what I wanted to do and I was determined to make that happen. All of the lecturers were ex-teachers so they were able to bring an authentic experience to their lecturing and tutoring. I learnt so much during my time at ACPE which has been reflected in my success since completing my degree.
Whilst on my last practicum of my teaching degree, I received a job interview for a 1 year contract for a full-time temporary teaching position and successfully was offered the position. With Dance being offered as a subject at my school in 2022 for the first time ever, 6 months into the job I was then targeted by my principal for a closed-merit permanent position in PDHPE/Dance and successfully gained the position. Being the first ever Dance teacher at my school and building a subject from scratch is such a rewarding opportunity in which I am determined to succeed in the role and am dedicated to strengthening students abilities within the arts.
Without the knowledge and dedication from the lecturers and tutors at ACPE, I don’t think I would be where I am now in my career.
What advice would you have for young adults considering studying with ACPE and pursuing a career in Sport, Health, Fitness, Education or Dance?
My advice to any prospective student or young adult considering to study with ACPE is to definitely take that leap and enrol in their desired course. ACPE provided me with so many opportunities to learn, grow and succeed within my career industry and I’ve never met teaching staff and college leaders who care so much about students and their success. It is situated in an awesome location and I can guarantee that you will not regret your decision of studying at ACPE.