Growing up in a household where her parents took in foster children taught Jenni Miles the value of compassion at an early age.
“There were many confronting behaviours and hostile verbal exchanges in the home,” Jenni remembers, “But my brother and I were always encouraged to think about the challenges these kids had faced and always to look for the greatness in people.”
These early experiences gave Jenni a lifelong interest in understanding people and played a large part in determining the direction of her career.
“I’ve always been attracted to jobs that demand close involvement with individuals,” she says, “Because of my childhood and I think also because of my nature, I know that there is a lot more to people under the surface, so my passion is to bring out the skills and talents that lie inside people, to help them to become the best they can be.”
After a period working and teaching in fitness instruction, sport and recreation and community services, Jenni took on her current role in Professional Learning and Development at Chisholm. She currently teaches the dual diplomas of VET Practice and Training and Assessment, the Course in Assessment of Informal Learning (AIL), and the Certificate IV Training and Assessment. All these courses, she notes, are about supporting people and providing opportunities for them to grow personally and professionally.
“The AIL course, for instance, is a qualification for assessors in the VET sector that allows them to support their learners by recognising their informal learning,” she says, “Basically, I support the teachers in being the best they can be, so they can support the learners in being the best they can be.”
Now celebrating many years of teaching at Chisholm, Jenny is excited about the possibilities that study can present, both for herself and her students.
“I left school at 15 to do an apprenticeship in Hairdressing,” she recalls, “Even though it was the right decision at the time, I always privately mourned my lack of education. Now, having completed my Masters in Education, I’m more grateful than ever for the journey that education has taken me on. It’s transformational both to receive and play a part in passing on the gift of learning.
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