Master of Teaching (Secondary)
Graduate and inaugural recipient of the Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship
What about the Master of Teaching appealed to you?
I've always liked learning new things, and I wanted to be challenged by a new career, so teaching seemed like the perfect blend of the two. It had the satisfaction of working with children and making a difference to their lives, and the career flexibility to grow and develop within the education spectrum. Also over the previous nine years I had been raising two daughters of my own and that experience helped me to understand the importance of education in a child's conception of themselves and others, so you could say I'd reached a point in my own development where teaching seemed to be the ideal path to take.
What’s the best thing you’ve gained from doing the course?
Aside from all the teaching skills and experience, the collegiality and camaraderie amongst my fellow teacher candidates has been fantastic and I've made some great friends along the way. Also I never thought I'd enjoy teaching teenagers so much - they have such active imaginations, really respond to authenticity and honesty in teaching, and come out with some very random stuff that always keeps things interesting!
How do you feel the course has prepared you for a career in teaching?
Teaching calls on a really broad range of skills, from interpersonal interactions, through to creative thinking and academic discipline. The Master of Teaching blended these elements in an authentic way, and teaching practice always brought back to focus these various elements. The accelerated structure of the course is really good too, as it forces you to hit the ground running and really begin to test your ideas and start learning from your mistakes.
How did the Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship assist you during your studies?
At the time, I had recently undergone a family separation, and with two children and limited means of supporting myself you could say my enrolment in the Master of Teaching was something of a leap of faith to say the least! The Jennifer Duggan Leaper scholarship helped to confirm that I'd made the right decision and it provided me with the peace of mind that I needed to concentrate on my studies in what was a very busy year for me.
How did you feel when you were awarded this scholarship?
Really quite humbled. It's such a generous award, and it was great to meet Jenny and her husband John at the award evening. They are such down to earth people and by coincidence, Jenny actually taught at the high school I attended (Shepparton High School), although we missed each other by a couple of years!
Taking a leap of faith to change lives
A passion for learning and desire to make a difference to young people's lives is what led Carl Williams to enrol in the Master of Teaching (Secondary) course.
"With two daughters of my own I understand the importance of education in a child's conception of themselves and others," he said.
Despite the best intentions, Carl was feeling nervous about returning to study; however, in 2014 he was fortunate to be awarded the inaugural Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship, which cemented his decision.
"At the same time, I had recently undergone a family separation, and with two children and limited means of supporting myself, you could say my enrolment in the Masters of Teaching was something of a leap of faith, to say the least!" he said.
"The Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship helped to confirm that I've made the right decision and it provided me with a peace of mind and financial support that I needed to concentrate on my studies in what was a very busy year."
In 2015, Mr Williams completed the final 50 points of the master's degree and he is now looking forward to rewarding career in education.
"I never thought I'd enjoy teaching teenagers so much. They have such active imaginations and really respond well to authenticity and honesty in teaching. I can't wait to embark on this next stage in my career."
The Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship is a biennial scholarship offered to one University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts graduate studying the Master of Teaching who has shown academic excellence in their undergraduate degree but faces financial hardship in completing their master's.