There are times during a student’s learning journey when their passion allows them to not only excel in their own studies, but also assist their fellow students. This is the case for many of the PASS@UNE Leaders, for example Bachelor of Special and Inclusive Education (Primary) student, Jo Munro.
Jo is just under half way through her studies and is able to regularly provide assistance to first year students in her role as a PASS leader. For those who don’t know PASS@UNE is an academic assistance program that involves regularly-scheduled, out-of-class study sessions that are facilitated by student leaders.
But how did Jo’s studies begin? When discussing her learning journey, Jo started at the very beginning:
“Brisbane born – vintage 1973. I loved primary school but not so much high school, teenagerdom certainly was a journey.” After high school Jo found herself at the University of Queensland studying an Associate Diploma of Business (Hospitality Services).
“I graduated in 1993. Moved to Sydney in 1994 (with my now husband) where I worked an administrative position for the RAAFA. We have moved from Cowra, Scone (where I worked in both councils in administrative positions), Dalby/Jandowae, Stanthorpe, Mudgee and finally Tamworth for my husband’s work. I have three teenagers.”
Jo, now at UNE, is studying her Bachelor of Special and Inclusive Education, and using her learning and teaching experience to help fellow students as a PASS leader. But where does all the educational motivation come from? Well it seems Jo has a strong passion for the process of teaching, as she has also been an Educational Assistant (also known as a teacher’s aide) for nine years.
“I started as an Educational Assistant when my youngest started school. I love what I do as an EA and I finally got the courage to back myself and study teaching online (prior to this time family came first and online was not readily accessible). Studying online is making it possible for a dream to come true.”
Discussing her work as an Educational Assistant further, Jo showed that a true passion for education often comes from having a strong sense of empathy.
“We are all unique and so too are children; I love differentiating their learning to proactively guide them to believe in themselves and their learning capabilities. Everyone is worthy!”
PASS@UNE is only one of the ways that Jo is able to share her passion for learning, although she noted that the best aspect of the program is the sense of comradery and connection that it creates for students. PASS is “a place where you find you are not the only one thinking the queries you may have. You are not alone. Reach out. People are wonderful and helpful. UNE’s goal is to help you graduate.”
With so much passion and drive to help others Jo certainly seems to have a goal in mind for her career after her studies. Unsurprisingly these plans involve helping students learn and achieve their study goals.
Jo is looking forward “to adapting to a real classroom environment and beginning to help children learn how to learn and never give up. If it doesn’t work the first way, let’s look at another way of understanding all this curriculum! Keep researching ways to help children learn.”