Jack Tan | Student | Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Jack is an international student who knew he wanted to study teaching as soon as he completed his undergraduate degree. He studies the Secondary stream with learning areas in English and TESOL and says there is more to Melbourne than he originally thought.

I came from a family of teachers so I've always been interested in teaching. I have great respect for many of my teachers who have inspired me as well. So it was rather natural for me to go into teaching after my Bachelor's degree and so far I've enjoyed it tremendously.

This is going to sound a bit cliché but I think teachers make a great difference in the lives of their students

I think that we're teaching students who are at a very formative period in their lives. I think as teachers it is our duty and it's our vocation and calling to assist students in their formation academically, socially and in many other ways. So I think that's the greatest reason why I wanted to teach.

I've been in Melbourne for a while now. I have done other degrees here. I've worked and studied at Melbourne and it's a really wonderful university, not only in the strength of its research but also in the support that the students get.

There are great facilities and lots of social and cultural events to do. The city of Melbourne is just a wonderful place to live in. It's one of the world's most liveable cities and I really enjoy, apart from my academic studies, the cultural, the sporting, the literary side of the city.

My favourite part of the course is not just the practical side of teaching but the research side of things, which is very important for me.

I think the defining feature of the Melbourne program is that the focus is not just on the practicalities of training you to be a teacher, but also the research component is key as well.

Our lecturers and  tutors are very well established researchers, so it's a good mix of both learning about the research and also the practical bits of teaching.

Teaching is very exciting and exhilarating, but also a very intensive course so I think time management is very crucial. I advise incoming students to really be organised and to come up with a timetable that looks after both your academic side of things but also your social, sporting and cultural side of things so that you can get the most of your experience.

It's really good to be fully immersed in the program, to not only go to your classes, but to also be involved in all kinds of clubs and societies at the university. For first-year students it would be really great to get in touch of a peer mentor who is a second-year student who has done the same programme who will be able to assist you.

I think that balance of research and the practical side of things has really helped me in becoming a reflective practitioner.

Through my teaching practicums, my placements and my classes, I have learned to not just do what I do, but also reflect on why I'm doing this.

I hope to be a teacher who is student centred, who is able to think about what the students need and to support them that way.

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