New education graduate Sarah Murphy can't believe her good luck.
She's already found a position she loves in a community-based organization that shares her own philosophy of education.
The Mount Pearl native co-ordinates the after-school education program at the St. John's Boys' and Girls' Club, working with students of all ages, from kindergarten to Grade 12 on everything from math to reading to science and science experiments. Ms. Murphy is licensed to drive the club's passenger van, so it's also her job to provide after-school pickup.
"The club provides an environment of respect, encouragement and empowerment for the students and I enjoy that," said Ms. Murphy, who graduates with her bachelor of education degree in intermediate/secondary studies at fall convocation on Oct. 20.
"I wrote a paper on that. As an educator, I want to provide an inclusive environment for all youth, who all have something special to offer. My job as an educator is to foster that potential."
She takes inspiration in lots of little things that students accomplish every day, like solving a math problem they've been struggling with or laughing when they're able to read a funny book after hard work on vocabulary words, or showing kindness to another student.
Ten years ago, Ms. Murphy studied English and religious studies at Memorial before leaving St. John's for opportunities in travel, theatre and dance.
Returning home just a few years ago, Ms. Murphy decided to head back to Memorial and met with a helpful advisor for a recap of what courses she already had under her belt.
She discovered that her major and minor were teachable subjects. That's when she had her "A-ha" moment: she quickly decided to apply to the B. Ed in intermediate/secondary studies program. From that point on, she was so motivated by her studies she juggled school with work at the Hungry Heart Café and a local clothing store in St. John's.
"This is exactly where I'm meant to be. I could tear up, honestly. My heart is full every single day." — Sarah Murphy
During her program, Ms. Murphy also squeezed in volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, so when a position to co-ordinate the after school program came up, she applied.
"I have such a great opportunity to work with students of all ages," she said. "It's given me insight that I can bring into the classroom."
Ms. Murphy is also able to work as a substitute teacher.
"This is exactly where I'm meant to be. I could tear up, honestly. My heart is full every single day."