Isabella Barker | Student | Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Whilst studying for her Bachelor of Arts with the University of Melbourne, Isabella undertook some Breadth subjects in Education which confirmed her suspicion that teaching should be her chosen career path. Now enrolled in the Master of Teaching (Secondary) on the accelerated study pathway, Isabella is looking forward to beginning teaching when she graduates next year, whilst working towards her career goal of becoming a school principal.

Isabelle Barker Master of Teaching student

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

I graduated as Dux of Mordialloc College in 2014. I had such inspiring teachers during my time at school, and in high school I also began working as a dance teacher, so I had always been inspired by and drawn to the field of education but I wasn’t sure at that stage if it was right for me.

I went on to study a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and a Diploma in Languages (French) at The University of Melbourne, graduating in 2018.  While studying I completed an internship in Communications/Public Relations and Content Marketing, working casually in this field and then working full time from the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2020. I really enjoyed this work but I had come to the realisation that teaching was my passion and that I wanted to study at the Faculty of Education.

Q: How did you find your Breadth studies with the Faculty of Education?

In my first year I completed the subject ‘Spontaneous Drama: Improv and Communities’ which I absolutely loved. The teachers were really supportive, and the class always had a great atmosphere. I enjoyed learning about the history of improvisation and being able to create my own work in a team.

Learn more about Breadth in Education here.

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

For a number of reasons. Firstly, because I had such a positive experience completing my undergraduate studies at The University of Melbourne. I had my sights set on Unimelb from the age of 14, and worked hard throughout high school to be part of the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars program at Unimelb and then to go on to study there at an undergraduate level. When I stepped onto the campus for the first time I just had a feeling that this was where I was meant to be. I was so drawn to the vibrant energy buzzing around campus.

Of course as part of my undergraduate studies I completed a Breadth subject in Education. As mentioned above, it was a fantastic subject so I knew that a whole course from the Faculty would also be fantastic if that subject was anything to go by!

Finally, a third reason I chose the Faculty of Education was because of its stellar reputation. It’s pretty special to have the opportunity to study at the number one university for Education in the country.

Q: Why did you choose to study your program?

I have a keen interest in Psychology, which is studied at Secondary level, so the Masters of Teaching (Secondary) was a natural fit for me. My second Learning Area specialisation is French which of course can be taught at every year level, and during my placement I got to observe and help teach French classes from Grade 4 to Year 12 which was so interesting and rewarding.

Q: What are you enjoying studying at the Faculty of Education?

If I had to say what my favourite thing about studying at the Faculty of Education is, it’s definitely the atmosphere. It’s such a friendly community. The staff offer a lot of support to help you be the best teacher/education professional you can be, and my peers are so hardworking, supportive and friendly. Everyone helps each other to be the best they can be, and from Day One I knew I would always feel like I’m part of a wonderful team of future teachers.

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

It’s hard to choose, but I would have to say the Clinical Teaching Practice program we are so lucky to have here at the Faculty. You get so much experience on placement from the early stages of your studies and have so much support around you as well.

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

I know this course will prepare me to enter the teaching profession with a solid foundation of placement experience and a wide range of valuable skills, as well as a large network of teachers.

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

I would like to start working as a teacher after graduating in mid-2021 (as I am in the Accelerated program). I’m not sure what subject/s yet, as I just love teaching in general! In the future I want to be a School Principal, so that is my ultimate career goal.

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

My advice is two sets of three words: “go for it!” and “you’ve got this!”. ‘Go for it’ in the sense of taking the leap, and putting in everything you can while completing the course. There are so many wonderful opportunities and things to learn, so make the most of it. Best of all it’s so special being part of the incredible, inspiring Faculty of Education community.

Secondly, ‘you’ve got this’, because while thinking about studying at a Masters level is a big step and a huge commitment - it is absolutely possible to not only succeed but thrive. The Faculty offers so much support and I feel so inspired every day of studying (there are even inspirational education quotes on the walls of the Education building!). It’s an investment in a rewarding future, and an experience you’ll always cherish.

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