Sin Sin Ooi | Student | Master of Teaching (Primary)

After studying her undergraduate degree in New Zealand, Sin Sin has enrolled onto the Master of Teaching (Primary) with the hope that she can return to her home country of Malaysia and contribute towards the education system there. She was awarded the Melbourne Graduate Scholarship (Education) for 2020, reducing the financial burden on her family during her graduate studies.

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

I was born in Penang, Malaysia and completed my high school at Penang Chinese Girls High School (PCGHS) in 2013. I moved to Wellington, New Zealand in 2016 to pursue undergraduate studies, and completed Bachelor of Arts in Music and Education at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) last year (2019). I moved to Melbourne, Australia, in mid-February 2020 to pursue my postgraduate study.

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

I choose to study in Australia at first and aim to experience teaching in school communities which consists of students with diverse cultural backgrounds. The well-structured programmes offered by the Faculty of Education meet my expectations, which give teacher candidates opportunities to work with different schools in Victoria state. The Faculty is also highly ranked across the world and has a high reputation in Education, Teaching and Learning researches. I believe I will have a great learning experience, learning from the experienced and knowledgeable researchers.

Q: Why did you choose to study your program?

I am studying Master of Teaching (Primary), my first intention to go for postgraduate study is that I wanted to equip myself with more valuable teaching ideas and techniques, gain more confidence before stepping into workplace. I am interested to learn more about Clinical Practice which is related to the proper mindset behind all teaching pedagogies. I am looking forward to teacher placements which will give me opportunities to be practical with the knowledge I have learned, as well as better understanding of the Australian education system.

Q: Do you mind sharing which Scholarship you were awarded?

I was awarded the Melbourne Graduate Scholarship (Education) which entitles a 25% fee remission during my study. As an international student, I am so grateful for this scholarship because it helps me to continue to pursue my dream to study overseas while reduce my family’s financial burden.

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

I really enjoy studying at the Faculty of Education, and although it is just my first semester here, it has provided great learning environment and facilities. I managed to attend face-to-face classes for about a month before COVID-19 lockdown. I was amazed with the superb interior design in our classrooms at Kwong Lee Dow building (especially the 5th floor Arts studio), which will surely motivate me to learn better in such a comfortable environment! I am thankful that students can conveniently borrow teaching facilities (eg. children's storybooks, MAB blocks) from the university library instead of buying all the teaching tools, it is very useful especially for international students like me (who are still unfamiliar with the new city) to save money and time looking for suitable teaching tools around.

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

New teaching ideas and friendships are valuable aspects that I gained from this program so far. 2020 is a ery challenging year for everyone due to COVID-19, and it is great that the Faculty is still running online classes which I can still learn and be inspired by many new teaching ideas which is very different from my own learning experiences back in Malaysia and New Zealand. It is wonderful that through this program I can meet new friends of different background yet with the same dream to be great teachers and contribute to our own community. I am looking forward to meeting them in person again when the COVID-19 situation gets better!

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

I hope that this course will build up my confidence and professionalism in teaching through school placements. I also hope that I cultivate great values of being a teacher such as empathy and social awareness.

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

I hope that I can go back to my home country, Malaysia, to teach after I graduate, and hopefully I will contribute useful ideas to Malaysian schools (especially government schools) with the knowledge and experiences I have gained from this program.

Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for your scholarship?

Just apply if you fulfil the requirements for the scholarship, you would not know what the outcome is if you did not take the first step to apply!

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