Phoebe-Mae describes the Master of Teaching (Secondary) Internship as the most empowering educational journey she has been on to date. She describes seeing her students progress in confidence and skill as her driving motivation through this intensive course.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
In 2013, I graduated from Patterson River Secondary College and was fortunate enough to start my tertiary education at the University of Melbourne the following year. Through my three-year Bachelor of Arts degree, I had plethora of opportunities to explore my passions, before deciding on a double major in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, and Criminology. At the end of my Bachelors, I successfully applied for Master of Teaching (Secondary) at The University of Melbourne. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I was not in a financial position to complete another full-time degree, so I left the world of academia for that of diamonds. I spent the next two years working for a large jewellery retail company, progressing to the role of Assistant Manager, where my favourite aspect of the position was training staff. I always knew I would return to teaching, and upon seeing an advertisement for the Internship program, my future was secured.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
Being a University of Melbourne alumna, I still feel a great sense of connection and pride with the university. When I was working for the University’s Advancement Team in 2015, I was fortunate enough to meet the then Dean of MGSE, Professor Field Rickards, who described the innovation behind the redesigned teaching programs, and how teachers in the profession need to be continuously working towards development and improvement of practice. His speech was inspirational, making me feel like I was aspiring to a degree that would offer me entry into a career of life-long learning.
Q: Why did you choose to study your program?
The Internship program places you at a school for the duration of your course. I wanted the opportunity to cement myself in a school community to best learn every aspect of what it is like to work at a school.
Q: Are you enjoying studying at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?
This is the most empowering educational journey I have been on to date. The structure of this course with bi-annual intensives allows for deep connections between peers, as well as experiencing the campus. During these intensives, we have been introduced to many academics and leading experts in their fields. The dedication and support of the teaching staff, both on campus and online, is crucial. Also, being able to tailor assessments to my specific school context supports my own professional development as a teacher.
Q: What’s the most valuable/rewarding aspect of your program?
The students. Your work is student-centered and there is nothing more amazing or rewarding than seeing your students grasp concepts, practice techniques, and describe themselves as more confident, skilled learners.
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting the course?
When starting the course, the cohort interviewed several third-year students from the Internship program. This was incredibly valuable and offered insight into what the next three years of my life would look like. Because of this, I felt informed about what journey I was starting.
Q: How do you hope your course will help your career progression?
Having three years of experience at one placement school will provide me with essential skills for integrating into a school community. The opportunities to make professional connections, develop relationships with students and their families, and attend school-based professional development are extremely valuable. Also, working in one location throughout my course allows me to tailor my assessments to my school context and students’ needs, enabling me to deepen my teaching techniques and pedagogical knowledge.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
I aspire to become a learning specialist in the subject area of English as an Additional Language. I also hope that my career and academic achievements allow me to complete a PhD in education, as well as teach overseas to broaden my knowledge and experiences. Regardless of what the future holds, the one thing I am confident in is that my journey will contain life-long learning.
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting your course?
Organisation is important for your mental health, work ethic, but also to maximise on the amazing opportunities afforded by this course. Also, it is essential to have a clear and concrete moral purpose. Simultaneously being a teacher and a student can be demanding and draining; having a moral purpose can help refocus and strengthen your mindset in challenging times.