Lincan Chen | Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Inspired by her high school maths teachers, Lincan decided to become one as well. She began her Master of Teaching (Secondary) as soon as she finished her undergraduate degree.

After completing a Bachelor of Science, specialising in statistics and stochastic modelling, Lincan enrolled in the Master of Teaching with mathematics and psychology as her learning areas.

“I chose the University of Melbourne because I could learn to be a teacher from some of the world’s leading professors,” Lincan said. “It’s a pleasure to learn from experienced and professional teachers.” She added, “I like how we take placements at secondary schools to gain real experiences in teaching and learning.”

Lincan’s teaching placement was in Shepparton, a town of about 50,000 people situated in northern Victoria. “I chose to do a rural placement because I wanted to experience a rural school,” Lincan explained. “My placement experience was very positive and full of learning.”

She appreciated the support she received from her mentor, from school staff, and from the other pre-service teachers in her program. “My mentor was very supportive. I learned a lot from her,” said Lincan. “All the staff were very nice, and we pre-service teachers all supported one another during the placement.”

Lincan Chen, Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Through her placement experience, Lincan was able to confront real-world challenges and learn how to navigate them. “The most challenging thing was teaching students from diverse backgrounds,” Lincan said. “The real-world teaching experience helped me gain skills in classroom management, learn different strategies to deliver the content, try different teaching strategies and know how best to manage a situation.”

“The experiences I gained from the placement, and the relationships I built with the placement school, mentors, students, and other pre-service teachers, are so valuable,” she concluded.

Lincan further supplemented her studies by joining the China Rural Education Initiative, an extracurricular club that aims to support and enhance education in rural areas of China. But her main goal as a future teacher isn’t geographically specific: she simply wants to spark her students’ interest in maths and sharpen their skills in the area. “I am hoping to see students become more engaged with learning mathematics, and to see an improvement in maths skills and knowledge,” she said.

She was able to offer some sage advice for new Master of Teaching students undertaking a rural placement: “I advise them to be prepared for separation from family and friends and to take care of themselves during placement, as things can get very hectic, and sometimes things will not work out as you expect,” she cautioned, “so be prepared to learn!”

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