Jody started at Christ Church 17 years ago teaching Drama and English before taking leave and having children. She came back to the School in a part time capacity and took a change in direction by teaching Work Studies and non-TEE English.
“I found it really rewarding,” Jody said. “Students would often come into Year 10 with low self esteem. But then I would see them grow and develop, find a sense of direction and purpose and build goals. I would see their confidence grow and they would finish Year 12 ready to launch into whatever path they had chosen. It is even further rewarding to meet these young men five years out of school successful in their chosen career or course of study.”
Jody said the work also linked her to the INSTEP programme and when the position of INSTEP Co-ordinator became available she applied – with success. “I felt a sense of passion towards the non-TEE courses and what the boys were able to achieve,” she said.
Once working with INSTEP, Jody found the link to career development extremely interesting and within a year she had also taken on the role of Careers Counsellor, which prompted her to do a post graduate diploma in Career Development at Edith Cowan University, which she has just recently finished.
With the two roles, Jody said she now had a balanced focus between the TEE boys and non-TEE boys. “I find both areas extremely fulfilling,” she said.
As INSTEP Co-ordinator, Jody monitors the performance of the non-TEE boys by visiting them in their work placements as well as checking on how they’re coping with school. INSTEP is similar to other subjects, except it takes the boys off site for one day a week – in Year 11 to a work placement and in Year 12 to a certificate course.
“The idea is that by Year 12 they’ve started to get some direction about what they might want to do and they can start getting accreditation towards that occupation,” Jody said. This year for example, six students are completing a Certificate IV in Business, which they can use to apply to Murdoch, ECU, Notre Dame and Curtin universities.
INSTEP is a subject that offers students an opportunity to focus their career options and make a smooth transition from school to the workforce or further study. It offers a valuable alternative to students who are not doing a TEE course but are focused on apprenticeships or alternative entry to university.
As Careers Counsellor, Jody talks to individual students about their career options and provides them with information about post-school study. She talks to parents and also meets with parents and students to discuss subject selections.
Now in her third year in the role and having finished her study, Jody is looking forward to introducing new career development initiatives, such as Legends @ Lunchtime, which started this week and will continue throughout the year with past Christ Church students visiting the School during the lunch break and talking to interested Senior School boys about their career.
“Career development is the lifelong process of managing the progression in learning and work,” Jody said. “The quality of this process significantly determines the nature and quality of individuals’ lives - the kind of people they become, the sense of purpose they have, the income at their disposal. It also determines the social and economic contribution they make to the communities and societies of which they are part. Therefore being a Career Counsellor is a very important part of the School and I feel privileged to be in this role.”