Kristee is currently a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood & Primary) student. She reflects that although the course is challenging, it's made her into a resilient, practical and knowledgeable teacher, ready to step into the classroom.
Q: Can you briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
I grew up in Bacchus Marsh, about an hour or so out of the city. Being a smaller town, the schools I attended were also classified as rural and disadvantaged. I studied at the Bacchus Marsh College and graduated in 2013 after finishing Year 12 whilst going through a medical condition (hypoglycemic seizures). I was a part of the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars program in my final few years of high school, and it allowed me to get into The University of Melbourne via the Access Melbourne scholarship opportunity. I studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Linguistics with a minor in Psychology. I still live in Bacchus Marsh and travel into the University each day.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Education?
I was a part of The University of Melbourne Mentor Program in my final year of my Bachelor degree, and was placed with a Mentor who worked as a Preschool Field Officer. As I had gone straight into study, I didn’t have much experience with the broad possibilities of full-time work in my field of interest, and so this Mentor program opened my eyes to the possibility and various options ahead. I applied for both a Master of Speech Pathology, which had been my goal throughout my Bachelor degree, but also to a Masters of Teaching (Early Childhood). I decided to let fate decide and when I got the offer from the Faculty of Education I quickly accepted!
Q: Why did you choose to study your program?
Originally, I chose to study a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood), but soon after commencing study, I realised that the future career opportunities of the combined course were limitless. After transferring to the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary), I found we were challenged, had a larger amount of practical experience through placements, and were doing assessments that would better our future teaching. I feel as though this course readies you to not only pass your degree with a higher level of pedagogical understanding, but also gives you the tools to take your experience and knowledge into the classroom.
Q: What are you enjoying most about studying at the Faculty of Education?
I am incredibly thankful for the support I have been given throughout the course. As I have a medical disability, the coordinators and lecturers work with me to ensure I can complete tasks satisfactorily. I also believe the courses are designed to be fun and engaging, and we the lecturers and tutors present the information in practical ways.
Q: What’s the most valuable/rewarding aspect of your program?
I feel as if I can step into the classroom, ready to be a teacher. Although the course has been challenging at times, those challenges have made me into a resilient, practical and knowledgeable teacher.
Q: How do you hope your course will help your career progression?
I love the open opportunity I get to teach in Early Childhood or Primary with this course. Since I am not as boxed in, I feel as if my future career can be carried into multiple different directions throughout my life.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
As I am finishing this course mid-year, I hope to find a part-time job in either an Early Childhood center, with a local council, or in a Primary School, for the remainder of the year and then in 2021, I will decide where to go to next!
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting your course?
Make sure you have a solid support network at home throughout this course, and then when you do get into the course, make as many friends as you can! Teachers need to stick together and work as a team, so start that process as soon as you can.