Meet Audrey Atkinson
Currently studying Master of Teaching (Secondary).
Are you currently teaching? If so, what year and subjects?
Currently I am finishing the final 50 points of the Masters of Teaching (Secondary). I will pursue work as a Casual Relief Teacher while completing these studies. In July 2017, I am moving overseas where I hope to find work in an international school.
What inspired you to enroll in the Master of Teaching (Secondary)?
I was inspired to enroll in the Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne because of the glowing reviews the course receives from students. At the end of my undergraduate degree I attended an information session at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. The enthusiasm with which the teacher candidates spoke and the warmth and passion of the academics finalized my choice.
What were your learning areas?
My learning areas are English and History. I also undertook a specialized mathematics subject that means I have preliminary training in teaching mathematics to junior year levels (years 7-9 approx.)
What was it about this course that appealed to you?
The biggest appeal about the Masters of Teaching (Secondary) was the time spent in schools. Not only were the placements generous in duration, but they also started very quickly. After only a few weeks at university we were launched into the classroom. There was no better way to get a taste for teaching than this prompt induction to the profession.
How prepared did you feel going into the classroom?
Standing in front a classroom of students for the first time will always be a daunting experience. Nonetheless, the Masters of Teaching equipped me with the knowledge, skills and resilience for a confident start. With the combined assistance of my mentor teacher and my learning at university, I felt encouraged that I would be supported throughout my time as a teacher candidate.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
The Masters of Teaching (Secondary) is labor-intensive and makes demands academically, emotionally and logistically. The hardest part about the course was finding the right balance in consideration of all these demands. It was particularly important to make time for hobbies, family and friends and doing so often had to be a conscious decision.
What was the most valuable aspect of the course?
The most valuable aspect of the course was the sense of community built between the teacher candidates. Our cohort was composed of individuals, all of whom brought unique experiences and ideas with them. This meant that we were constantly surrounded by a network of inspiring people who supported one-another and who always provided new insights and a shoulder to lean on.
How did you find the clinical teaching model that the Graduate School uses?
The clinical teaching model used by the Graduate School encourages teacher candidates to be critical practitioners. The model ensures that as teachers we are well informed about the decisions and actions we make in the classroom. Understanding teaching and learning theory means that your practice is informed. This means you are not only positioned to explain what you are doing, but also, why exactly you are taking that action.
What would you say to someone thinking about doing this course?
The Masters of Teaching (Secondary) is an honest introduction to the teaching profession. If you think that teaching may be for you, then this is the course to enroll in. Your time at university will inform your practice while the placements provide the opportunity to learn in the field. There is a significant workload in the course but ultimately this works in your favour. It prepares teacher candidates for the busy, demanding and exciting profession that is teaching.