Meet Jack Tan

Master of Teaching (Secondary) teacher candidate

What’s your background? What made you decide to enrol in the Master of Teaching?

I studied Arts in Singapore and Melbourne. I have worked as an international school teacher, piano tutor and as a Resident Tutor at the University of Melbourne Residential Colleges. I decided to enrol in the Master of Teaching due to the reputation of the program, it’s strong research and high-quality teaching, and because Melbourne is a wonderful city to study in.

What are your learning areas? Why did you choose these?

My learning areas are TESOL and English. Coming from an international background myself, and being effectively bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese, I have a special interest in teaching English to speakers of other languages. English Literature is the love of my life. I spent numerous years completing research in the English Department at Melbourne and have presented at conferences in Los Angeles, Australian capital cities and at the Dickens Fellowship in Melbourne.

What’s been the most challenging part of the course?

Initially, I found the weeks which required juggled classes, assessments and placements challenging. However, it was good training for what it will be like to be a teacher. I developed more discipline and got used to having to take on different tasks all at once. The course really is like training for the life of a teacher!

What’s been the most valuable aspect of the course?

The clinical teaching model has encouraged me to reflect on how education theory and teaching practice are integrated. I also love the supportive environment at MGSE and camaraderie with teaching staff and fellow student teachers.

How are you finding the clinical teaching model that the Melbourne Graduate School of Education uses?

It integrates theory with practice very effectively. I love seeing the theories we learn at university come to life in the classroom. The course helps to us reflective practitioners, in that we constantly consider our own pedagogy and our students’ learning needs.

How prepared did you feel going into your first block placement?

I have had some teaching experience so it wasn’t all that scary stepping into a classroom. However, the classes in the Master of Teaching have allowed me to be more reflective of my teaching practice, and more self-aware of my performance while on placement.

What would you say to someone thinking about doing this course?

It is a rewarding and intensive program that will equip you with the necessary theory and pedagogical tools, and of course there are the supportive staff and fellow student teachers. MGSE’s Master of Teaching is a great teacher training course!