Students aren’t the only ones with first-day jitters. One teacher shares her worries.
Lunchbox done, schoolbag packed and clothes laid out, Natalie Burland was ready for her first day of school.
While the nerves had started to creep in at the thought of being surrounded by 32 strangers, she was also excited about embarking on a new chapter in her life.
First to arrive and walking into the empty classroom was something she had thought about many times and now the day had finally arrived.
She sat behind her desk and instantly felt she was finally in a place where she belonged.
Natalie is one of the 59 new teachers stepping into Sydney Catholic School classrooms in 2020.
And despite initially gaining a Bachelor of Business degree, the new Year 4 teacher at Miranda’s Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School said she realised teaching was the career meant for her.
She said following in her family’s footsteps was always on the cards, her dad is celebrated Christian educator and music composer John Burland, mum Liliana is a science teacher and older sister Daniela is a Year 3 teacher also at Star of the Sea.
“I guess teaching is in my blood and something I’m just meant to do,” she smiled.
“When I was growing up I decided I wanted to break the mould and do something completely different to my family but that wasn’t to be.
“I completed my business degree and just felt like something was missing and it wasn’t until I decided to do my Masters in primary school teaching that I felt at ease.
“Getting to where I am today has been a long road and spending my first day in the classroom has been an absolute joy.”
“I must admit there were quite a few nerves about my first day but as I had done some prac work at the school during my studies I knew a lot of the kids and just as importantly they knew me.
“And after just a few days in the classroom I know I have a life of learning ahead of me and realise the kids will teach me as much as I teach them.”
School principal Rosemary Andre said both Natalie and her sister are incredibly driven and a real asset to her school.
She said the first day in any job is tough. However she knew Natalie would be a huge success with not only her young students but the whole school community.
“I honestly could have put Natalie with any class, but felt Year 4 was a good fit for her,” she said.
“As this is her first teaching position I thought having such an experienced teacher in the other Year 4 class would be a real role model for her.
“I actually remember my first day like it was yesterday. The teacher had left just because the class was very challenging. I was nervous and expecting the worst after being told about why the teacher had left.
“I didn’t sleep well the night before and arrived on my first day at 7am to make sure I was ready. I was very excited about having my own class and hoping I could make a difference and hopefully that’s what I have done and continue to do today.”