Chantelle Bakersmith | Student | Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship

Chantelle enrolled on the Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship (MTSI) in order to begin teaching as soon as she could. This practical, intensive approach works well for Chantelle as she shares, "the learning activities are really relevant to my teaching - I learn something one day, and immediately apply it in the classroom the next day."

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

I completed year 12 at Warrandyte High School in 2012, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science at Monash University. I had moved out of home and supported myself by privately tutoring Primary and Secondary students in English, Maths and Science. After completing my degree, I worked in conservation and land management for a few years (my major had been ecology and conservation biology), slowly realising that, although this area was very important, it was not my true passion. Meanwhile, I continued to tutor after hours because I loved it so much. One day, I had a particularly excellent session where a student finally understood how to draw linear graphs, and I came home thinking, ‘That was great, I wonder if I could do that as a job?’. My family rolled their collective eyes because they’d known I was a teacher at heart for years. So my next step was finding a transition pathway into teaching.

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

By lucky chance one of my colleagues had heard of the Internship program and mentioned it to me: “Be quick, applications close on Friday!”  I looked into it and it was exactly the kind of transition I needed - I could begin teaching and undertake the qualification at the same time, with almost no time lost.

Q: Are you enjoying studying at the Faculty of Education?

I’m enjoying the program - the learning activities are really relevant to my teaching and I learn something one day, and immediately apply it in the classroom the next day. I feel so well supported in my development as a teacher, and I just don’t think I would have gained the same benefit if I had followed the ‘traditional route’ for studying to become a teacher. Nothing is lost between the learning and the teaching, as we are doing both at the same time!

Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of your program?

I love the staff and my colleagues at the Faculty of Education - everyone is very friendly and helpful and focused on helping us all through the course. I never feel that I can’t ask for help if I need it, and the other interns are an invaluable resource- we are all going through the same thing and can lean on each other for support when we need to.

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

If I could talk to myself at the beginning of the course I would say that coming up are some of the most challenging and rewarding, terrifying and exciting, thrilling experiences you will face.

Q: How do you hope your course will help your career progression?

This course has given me a really solid foundation on which to build my teaching career- I am equipped with the latest research and a growth mindset which I know will mean I am continually developing professionally throughout my career.

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

I am hoping to reapply for my job following the end of my course contract - I am very comfortable in my placement school and I can see myself staying there for the rest of my career if they’ll have me.

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

If you know you want to teach, this is course is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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