"The course teaches you to recognise best teaching practices and how to merge it with the Australian Curriculum to create meaningful educational experiences for students."Katrina Dubé, Online
Bachelor of Education (Primary)
I had attended a university in NSW as a face to face student for a couple of years (part-time) in my 30's but with four young children and a husband who travelled with work it was a challenge to attend classes. We were then moved to China with my husband's employer which ended my studies. That was until we moved to Singapore and I met someone who was completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary) through the University of Tasmania's distance programme. That was in 2008 and I started my studies part-time with UTAS in 2009.
When I graduated high school in 1986 I wasn't in a position to attend university but I had always wanted to be a primary school teacher. I have always been interested in education and am especially interested in how to best engage students so that they enjoy learning and see the benefits of learning not only for employment opportunities but also for personal fulfilment. UTAS was a pioneer in distance education and the school of education had a good reputation. The ability to study via distance education meant that I was able to continue my studies regardless of where I was living.
The Education course at UTAS enables you to become a teacher that not only understands the Australian curriculum thoroughly but also equips you with the ability to cater to the needs of students. Enabling all students to gain confidence and a love of learning. The course teaches you to recognise best teaching practices and how to merge it with the Australian Curriculum to create meaningful educational experiences for students. During my time studying, I really enjoyed exploring how best to engage students who may be having difficulties and how to cater for their needs within the Australian Curriculum. It has been a pleasure to focus on the humanity within education.
The tutors and lecturers at UTAS were supportive and really approachable. Even as a distance student I felt included. I especially enjoyed the semi-annual weekend sessions held in NSW and the sense of comradery shared when distance students met with staff from UTAS.
During my studies I had varied and wonderful practical experiences. My first PE was at an independent school in Sydney and I learnt valuable skills of observing, planning and organising small group lessons. My second PE was in a very large international school setting and I learnt about integrating another curriculum with the Australian curriculum in order to cater to international students' needs. This was a great opportunity to work with teachers and students from around the world and I learnt how to examine curriculum for best teaching practices and implement them to students with varied backgrounds. My third PE was at a small public school in NSW and I was fortunate to be there at a time of transition and leant how schools programme the curriculum into their year plan and how it is then implemented into each classroom, catering to the needs of the students within that class. My final PE was at an even smaller public school where I learnt about Individual learning plans as well as restorative practice, classroom management and teaching to the needs of small groups and individuals in the class. At every single professional experience placement, teachers at the school would comment at how well UTAS prepared me to understand and implement the curriculum and how well I was equipped with the ability to differentiate to student learning strengths and needs. This helped me to have the confidence in what I have been taught and in my own application of that leaning.
Now that I have graduated I have returned to Singapore and am currently working as a relief teacher at the Australian International School. In years F-3 I teach the Australian Curriculum delivered through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) framework. In years 4-6 I teach the standard Australian Curriculum. After I have been teaching for two years' full time, I would like to begin part-time studies of a Masters of Inclusive Education with a view to completing a PhD by 2025.
My advice to future students? If you are juggling family and other outside responsibilities, just keep studying. Even if you can only manage one or two subjects per semester, just keep going. You will reach the end and the personal and professional reward is worth the effort.