After completing her Master of Teaching (Primary), Jaselle reflects that it was the 'challenge of a lifetime', citing her placement as a defining moment in her training. She's now enrolled onto a Master of Instructional Leadership with the Faculty of Education, which she hopes will help her contribute confidently to top level discussions and decisions made in her current school.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
I completed high school at Waverley Christian College in Wantirna South and completed a bachelor of Business (Human Resources Management) at The Australian Catholic University.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Education?
I chose to study education at Melbourne University because it is a well-respected course and one that I knew would challenge me both personally and academically. The university’s focus on research was also important for me.
Q: What did you enjoy most studying at the Faculty of Education?
I enjoyed studying at Melbourne University because it challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone and helped me to develop important professional skills such as self-management and a research based practice. Although the course was demanding for us, we were aware that we were being well prepared as educators and as people who could become involved in education beyond the classroom too. It kick-started my career as a teacher by allowing me to engage confidently in professional conversations and to see my profession as a constant learning experience, not something that simply finished because I left university.
Q: Why did you choose to study the Masters of Teaching (Primary)?
I chose to study education at Melbourne University because it is a well-respected course and one that I knew would challenge me both personally and academically. The university’s focus on research and professional practice was also an important part of my decision to study this course.
Q: What was the most valuable/rewarding aspect of the Masters of Teaching (Primary)?
The placement program was really important to me. When I started the course, I wasn’t completely certain that teaching was for me but after starting placement in week three of the course I became certain that this was the profession I had been looking for. Working with Mentor Teachers and students throughout the entire course meant that I could apply all the things I was learning to my teaching placements and therefore reflect more on how I was developing as a teacher.
Q: What interested you most about the area you studied?
I really enjoyed learning about John Hattie’s work and especially the concept of metacognitive learning. It is something that I use in my classroom every day to help my students to grow both as people and as learners. The ideas of goal setting, reflection and planning for future learning is also something that I try to apply to my work, study and life also.
Q: What sort of projects have you been working on since graduating?
Working in a new school this year, it has been challenging and exciting to work with my colleagues and students to introduce a more metacognitive approach to learning at our school, especially in the area of Maths. We have been using a variety assessments to ensure that students are learning at their point of need and that they are deeply engaged in the process of learning as well as the content we are teaching.
Q: Can you describe how your degree has contributed to your career development?
The degree helped me to value best practiced and researched pedagogies. I believe that it has also helped me to become interested in the bigger picture of education and not simply in my own role in the classroom. It developed in me a love of learning about the industry and considering more deeply how we can best serve our students to help them to be positive members of a global community.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
I am back at the university this year studying a Masters of Instructional Leadership. It’s a challenge to balance work and study but a worthwhile one that I hope will help me to become a better teacher and to be able to contribute more confidently to the discussions and decisions made in my school.
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing a career in teaching?
Find someone who is a teacher are see if you can spend a day or two at their school. There is nothing like being in classroom to know whether teaching is the right job for you.
Q: What would you say to students who are thinking about studying your program at The University of Melbourne?
Be prepared for the challenge of a lifetime. It is a course that will stretch you in every sense of the word but you will come out the other end as a confident and skilled professional ready to take on a really special career.