Meet Marijke van Beuge

Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) graduate.

Marijke van Beuge completed the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 2015. She is now teaching pre-prep at Strathcona Girls Grammar.

What made you decide to enrol in the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)?

Both during and after my undergraduate degree I had been working in an Early Learning Centre in many different capacities. When I initially started this work I knew that I enjoyed working with children, but it was after talking to the teachers and experiencing what it was like to be involved in a classroom that I realised teaching was what I wanted to do. One of the teachers I worked with had completed the Master of Teaching at Melbourne so I was able to ask her about her experience. Her account of her time in the course as well as some of my own research led me to the conclusion that the M-Teach was the most comprehensive teaching course on offer and would support me to become the type of teacher I wanted to be.

Were you working at the time? If so, how did you juggle work and study?

Throughout most of the course I was working part-time, however towards the end I did stop working. The workload can be quite challenging to juggle, especially in the last semester when you are finishing final placements (if you choose the Early Years option) as well as applying for jobs. I think the key in this course is to continually chip away at the work and try to stay on top of it so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. The work that is done in each subject directly supports your learning and work in your placements, so it makes the time you put in very worthwhile and proves fruitful in the end.

What was the most valuable part of the course?

It is hard to pinpoint the single most valuable part of this course because there are so many elements that make it great. The structure of the placement days is immensely helpful. Attending placement two days per week for a long period of time allows you to put theory into practice immediately, but just as importantly allows you to return to uni and discuss your experiences with your peers and lecturers, and to reflect on the experience before the next week. This really supports you in those early days of placement and means that by block placement you are better equipped to succeed.

The teaching staff in the course are undoubtedly some of the best in the field of teaching and educational research. They are passionate about developing quality teachers so that children can have access to the best teachers, and the level of interaction and support they provide throughout the course reflects this.

What was the most challenging part of the course?

The most challenging part of the course is the workload and the pace of the content, but that is expected given that it is a Masters. The learning incline is steep in the beginning, and while the pace of the course doesn’t change, you figure out how to adapt in order to make it work. The more time and effort you put into the course, the more you will get out of it.

How did you find the Clinical Teaching model that the Melbourne Graduate School of Education uses?

The Clinical Teaching model used by MGSE really helped me consolidate and connect the theory that I was learning with my teaching practice. The reasons behind the model are very purposeful and all lead to the development of high quality, passionate teachers who use evidence to inform their practice. In my experience, the model helped me to become the teacher I wanted to be and prepared me for the reality of teaching.

How prepared did you feel going into your first year of teaching?

The M-Teach program really does set you up to succeed not only in your first year of teaching but throughout your future career. Looking back I feel the focus on evidence based practices, critical reflection and practical experience in this course have ensured that I was confident coming in to my first year of teaching. Although having said that, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t nervous about having my own class and wondering how the first day would go! But thankfully what I have found is that everything I learned during the course almost kicks in like autopilot when you need it, which I attribute to the effectiveness of the clinical teaching model.

What would you say to something thinking about doing this course?

I would, and do, recommend this course to anyone considering becoming a teacher or wanting to work in the field of education and research. The M-Teach has an incredible reputation for a reason and will make you the best teacher you can be, and a teacher that is in high demand by schools in Australia and abroad.