Where are they now? Andrew Gilmour Master of Teaching (Primary)

Andrew Gilmour completed the Master of Teaching (Primary) in 2011 after working in graphic design. His undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Design in Communication Design at Swinburne University of Technology.

Why did you choose teaching?

I was sitting at a computer 8:30am-5:00pm Monday to Friday for 48 weeks a year. I lost the golden tan, gained a 40-year-old beer-gut, I had to stop for a rest on the way to the printer, and ended up with poindexter spectacles. I had grown up an active and social kid who loved being on the go and being outside. I was a tennis coach during my high school years and teaching people was a natural part of growing older and wiser. Mum’s a teacher and, despite some miserable days, the feel-good stories and anecdotes were becoming extremely appealing.

I decided job satisfaction was now number one on my career hit-list. I got a raise at my design job and was accepted to The University of Melbourne’s Master of Teaching in the same week. It was teaching vs design. I wrote a pros and cons list in Mum and Dad’s kitchen in Red Hill and decided to go back to university.

Why did you choose to do the Master of Teaching (Primary) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education?

I went to Open Day with my younger sister and asked a few questions. It seemed like the only course that could get me ready for life in a classroom.

What did you like most about the course?

It was two years and had the most days of practical experience in schools. It highlighted the strength in utilising industry experience, which was nice to know that all my years as a designer weren’t going to be wasted.

Where are you working now?

I’m currently working at Balnarring Primary School on the Mornington Peninsula. I have a grade 5/6class. The entire 5/6 cohort is split into 5 classrooms. The school has an extensive specialist program, which allows students in 5/6 to elect what areas they wish to experience in the 5 subject areas: Sport, Music, Science, Japanese and Art. There is also the Balbirooroo Wetlands attached to the school, which the school and local community developed and produced over 10 years ago. It has been a fantastic resource and learning environment for both students and staff.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I look forward to work now and I think that’s enormously rare, especially during Victoria’s winter! My friends are praying for rain to keep them from rooftops and digging trenches or needing an umbrella for the commute to the office. For me it just means a wet-day timetable and if we’re lucky a lunchtime science experiment with golf ball sized hailstones.

What’s the funniest thing a child has said to you?

On Monday a young man in grade 5 loudly exclaimed “Too easy Mr Gilmour” during a post fractions unit assessment. He put forward his best results for the year in my maths group! On Wednesday a student walked into my room in the morning; “How are you Jimmy?” I asked. The reply came in a slow drawn out mumble… “Mr Gilmour I’m not good, this morning I walked into a door”.

How do you think the Master of Teaching (Primary) has helped you in your current position?

The education field is unique in that being taught by teachers is a great benefit in itself. Lecturers, tutors, supervising teachers and all staff were passionate about developing the future of education. There was a close and regular link between theory and practical application during semesters. We had placement Monday and Tuesday and then reflected from Wednesday to Friday at University. The system also worked in reverse, being able to apply theories discussed and explored at university in our placements the following weeks.