My personal journey through education saw many highs and lows, from F- to A+, from self doubt to self discovery.
After finishing my Matura in Austria (which ranged from “A+ with a star” to “barely managed to scrape by”) I left for Scotland to take a gap year as an Au Pair. Motivated by the teachers who had always believed in me, I used my time to apply to the University of Dundee for a degree in Psychology. It turned out that moving to Scotland would change my life forever.
At the University of Dundee, I turned from a decent enough pupil to a hardworking, ambitious student, exceeding my own expectations year after year. I experienced firsthand the importance of an environment that offers opportunities and challenges students while providing necessary scaffolding to help them find their own solutions. Our lecturers always met us with respect, accepted us as peers with interesting ideas and insights, gave us room for growth, interpretation, and rewarded our efforts.
Upon my return to Austria, I was drawn to work in the educational sector. Kindergarten, tutoring, dance teaching, educational workshops – teaching filled my days. Not only did I discover my passion for it, but also the joy it brought me to see my students succeed and reach their goals. I knew that education was what I wanted to dedicate my skills to. Working together with others, teaching them and learning new things from my students in return is what drives me most.
Before returning to formal education, I wanted to see a little more of the world. I left Europe for the first time, and travelled to Singapore, Aotearoa New Zealand, Samoa, and Fiji, teaching dancing throughout my travels and meeting people from all over the world through my work.
As I returned to Europe, I decided to go to the University of Glasgow to get my degree in Educational Studies. I focused my studies on individual differences, and the importance of acknowledging people’s personal stories, development and skills within an educational setting. I learnt about barriers in our educational systems, and how teachers can help students overcome the (often societal) obstacles in their way.
I returned to Austria once more with this wealth of new understanding. As a tutor and trainer I want to support others in their search for the joy of education that I was allowed to discover and that continues to inspire my work each day.
I deliberately decided against becoming a teacher within the formal education system, but to try and find my way outside of its structures. Many roads lead to Rome, and often you can affect more change from the outside. And that is what I’m trying to do.