After completing her undergraduate studies 34 years ago, Leah has returned to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education to complete her Master of Learning Intervention. On graduating, she aspires to become a teacher of the deaf in the Yarra Valley, Victoria.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
In the 34 years since completing my B.Ed I taught maths in a government secondary school for 6 years, worked in industry as a Human Resources Manager for 6 years, spent 9 years at home with my young daughters and have just clocked over 13 years at my current school – Yarra Valley Grammar.
Q: Tell us about yourself!
I have two daughters, both at University, a husband who has recently completed his Ph.D. (whilst working full time!) and a father who completed his Ph.D at age 66, so we are a household of students. We all enjoy travelling, watching movies and going out for breakfast. When I have spare time, I enjoy quilting!!
Q: Why did you choose to study your program at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
Yarra Valley is well renowned for its Deaf Facility. These students attend mainstream classes and are supported by teachers of the deaf. I have always enjoyed teaching deaf students in my maths classes and decided to formalise this connection by training to be a teacher of the deaf.
I chose to study at MGSE due to its Deaf Education course. I wanted the flexibility to study part time, close to home, and attend face to face lectures.
Q: Do you mind sharing which scholarship you were awarded? How has this Scholarship impacted your studies and your academic and career aspirations?
I am honoured to be a recipient of a generous scholarship from the Beth Maclaren Smallwood Foundation as Independent school teachers like myself cannot access the Victorian Department of Education and Training’s Inclusive Education Grant. The scholarship allows me to continue to both teach and study part-time while I pursue my goal of becoming a Teacher of the Deaf, by placing no extra financial pressure on my family.
Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of your program?
Each subject I have studied to date includes content, ideas and knowledge that are immediately applicable to my current teaching and I have met some fantastic people along the way!
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting the course?
The world of study has changed dramatically since 1986. It wasn’t until the Orientation Day that I realised how daunting it would be to pick it up again 33 years later!
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting your course?
The subjects are run as intensives and not spread out over a typical semester; meaning time is a precious resource. Balancing study, family and work becomes very important. It pays to be very organised and disciplined with all aspects.