Master of Teaching (Primary)
Where are you currently teaching and what age/grade are your students?
I decided to explore the world of casual relief teaching in 2017 because I would like to know more about the school culture prior to accepting a full-time role at a school. With casual relief teaching, I’m exposed to learners from Prep to Grade 6 and that will broaden my teaching practices even more.
What inspired you to enrol in the Master of Teaching (Primary)?
I spent about 20 years in Banking and IT and came to the realisation that I was in the wrong field. At Open Day in 2014, I was sitting in Theatre 230 at MGSE, and what I heard ignited my interest in learning about the Melbourne Approach. When I found out that the program received on average 650 to 700 applications per intake, I was nervous about my chances of receiving a place. In saying so, I put my best foot forward and submitted my application. Cut the story short, I was overwhelmed when I received the offer to be part of the 2015 intake.
What was it about this course that appealed to you?
I believe in the Melbourne approach because it has taught me to challenge (with respect) the status quo and to think differently, to use educational research to inform my practice. It has opened my eyes to look for evidence on what the learner is ready to learn. I am able to select the appropriate research based intervention to enable me to adopt teaching strategies that will provide the best outcome for the learner. I can also use work samples and observations to evaluate and interpret if the intervention was a success.
How prepared did you feel going into the classroom?
Overall, after completing the two year postgraduate program, I’m equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage my own classroom of learners.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
My journey towards becoming a clinical practitioner who undertakes an interventionist approach to teaching brought me joy at times, and had me close to tears at other times. There were moments when I wanted to throw the towel in the ring and walk away. I’m here today, to tell you that I’m glad I hung on. The rigor of the MTeach program prepares me well for the teaching world.
What was the most valuable aspect of the course?
Apart from the pedagogy, the teaching cohort from the university and the teaching cohort from all the placement schools have been wonderful in providing knowledge, mentoring, guidance and support whenever needed.
How did you find the clinical teaching model that the Graduate School uses?
As mentioned above, the clinical teaching model enables me as a teacher to always seek evidence about what my learners are ready to learn. It allows me to observe what my learners say, make, do and write - and those observations enable me to plan for the learners’ learning needs.
What would you say to someone thinking about doing this course?
If you are passionate about learning, please apply for a spot. My journey into teaching has enabled me to rediscover my childlike curiosity and now, I welcome any wrong turns and mistakes because that is the best way to learn. I also believe not knowing is the first step to understanding, and it is no longer about me, it is all about my learners and what their learning needs are.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would end this by saying; though my MTeach journey came to an end in December 2016, I came to the realisation that my journey as a teacher is just about to start. Your journey into the MTeach program will bring you closer to your dream of being a teacher that will make a difference to our future generations.