Meet Sophia Stirling
Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) Graduate
What made you decide to enrol in the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)?
It offered the flexibility to work part-time or full-time, has allowed me to explore different job opportunities, and has given me the ability to travel and work overseas and around Australia. Early childhood education in particular offered alternative careers including research and policy making.
Were you working at the time? If so, how did you juggle work and study?
I was working part-time in hospitality on the weekends only to allow me to attend university and study during the week. It was busy but I earned enough to support myself and had enough time to stay on top of my university work.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
Time management was the most challenging part of my course. Being able to balance placement, assignments, readings, exams and presentations alongside work was tricky. However, what helped me through the course was that every Friday evening I met up with fellow student teachers at the local pub and we debriefed on the week’s work.
What was the most valuable aspect of the course?
The Clinical Teaching model has been the most valuable aspect. This includes continuous placement throughout the term, which meant that I could learn the theory and use it in the classroom in the same week as a seamless transition from learning to application.
How prepared did you feel going into your first year of teaching?
I felt ready as a result of my experiences with MGSE, although I didn’t realise how much I still could learn on the job from fellow teachers who had more experience.
How long have you been an educator at the University’s Early Learning Centre? Did you undertake one of your Master of Teaching placements there?
I have been an educator at the University’s ELC for 2 and a half years. I did not do a placement at the ELC, although I wish I had! It is a fantastic place to work.
What age children do you teach?
I teach children aged between 3-5 years.
What would you say to something thinking about doing the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)?
It is a thorough course which offers job flexibility and opportunities outside of the classroom. Learning the child development aspect of the course adds significant insight into the child and adds extra employment opportunities.