Cory Duker | Alumni | Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship

Cory Duker Master of Teaching Internship student
Cory Duker, Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship alum

Cory chose the Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship, not only because of the Faculty of Education's reputation, but also because it allowed him to study, earn a small income, and work almost immediately in his chosen field.

Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?

I went to school in Western Sydney before heading to the University of Sydney to complete a double degree in science and engineering. Towards the end of this period of study I began to look for graduate engineering positions, as well make the move to Melbourne with my partner who secured a job here. Unfortunately, particularly in relation to an economic downturn, and perhaps a re-evaluating of my interests, I did not secure a graduate position as an engineer. I instead became a gardener, and spent some time reflecting on what it was I wanted in a job and future career. This lead me to take up a position as a teacher’s aide in a small Melbourne based private school before applying and completing the Masters of Teaching Internship at the University of Melbourne. Through that program I worked at Williamstown High School and continue to work there after my studies as a mathematics and science teacher.

Q: Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Education?

There were two main reasons for studying with the Faculty of Education: their education faculty is widely considered to be world class, and they provided a teaching program (the internship program) that allowed me to study, earn a small income, and work almost immediately in my chosen field.

Q: Why did you choose to study your program?

As well as the above points regarding the program in general, I chose to study in this program and ultimately become a teacher as I wanted to engage in a profession whose very essence is about bettering people. I want to get to the end of a week knowing that my efforts had been directed towards supporting and growing young people, both academically and in a more general sense. I then looked for a program and institution that gave me the best pathway for achieving this.

Q: Did you enjoy studying at the Faculty of Education?

There were a number of elements of the program and studying at the Faculty of Education that I enjoyed and found rewarding:

  • Engaging and learning from high-calibre staff, who were often still connected in some way to the current landscape of teaching.
  • Meeting and befriending other students engaging in the internship program. I now consider several fellow students to be good friends who I still catch up with on a regular basis.
  • Being provided access to the most recent and relevant research and concepts in the field of education (via educators and databases).

Q: What was the most valuable/rewarding aspect of your program?

Receiving and engaging with the most up to date teacher education. Further to this, completing this course with a group of hard working, intelligent and amazing people was also very rewarding and valuable.

Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting the course?

Only that the Masters of Teaching Internship program is not for the faint of heart! Learning on the job and through university education is both a joy and a curse. You get such an amazing insight into the teaching profession from a number of angles, however the mental and time pressures are very high.

Q: Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities?

Due to the nature of how the internship program works (much of your study is done via intensives and online), there was not a lot of opportunities to engage with on campus clubs and activities. I have however formed and supported a number of clubs within the school I worked at (and continue to work at) whilst completing my masters of teaching internship. Some of these clubs include a student/staff combined band, a board games club, as well as starting up a STEM based club called ‘The Design Factory.’

Q: How do you think the course helped career progression?

As alluded to earlier, being a part of the internship program has given me a unique experience in being able to see education from both theoretical and practical perspectives concurrently. I believe this educational context has provided me with an excellent platform with which to build a teaching career from.

Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?

At this stage, I am just trying to be the best teacher I can be. Though down the track I am hoping to move into positions of leadership, what that will be I am not quite sure yet!

Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting your course?

I can honestly say, that despite the time, effort and stress often required, I am genuinely proud to be a teacher. I consider it a noble profession; to educate, steer and support young people, and to walk with them as they grow. So my advice is to study teaching for lofty goals and reasons; don’t do it because it sounds good or interesting, or because you aren’t sure what to do with your future. Teaching matters, good teaching matters, so let your reason for pursuing a career in education be worthy of this.

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