Master of Teaching (Secondary) student Laura Eastley is completing her final Professional placement at Mountain Heights school in Queenstown, on Tasmania’s west coast. She never thought she’d be embarking on a teaching career in the same remote mining town her mother, also a teacher, started her career.

We’re from Launceston but my parents moved to Queenstown for 18 months in the mid-1980s. My dad worked in the hospital while my mum was a primary school teacher. They see the irony that I’m here all these years later. There’s that connection.

It was a passion for drama and a desire to boost the confidence of teenagers that enticed Laura, a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts graduate, to undertake her Master of Teaching with the University of Tasmania.

The teenage years are tricky. Confidence and self-esteem are big issues and I want to be able to build these students up. I’m passionate about emboldening young people in drama education. I see benefits across the board.

Laura believes having a Masters of Teaching (Secondary) degree is opening a lot of doors.

 “I didn’t initially want to be a teacher. I was dead set against it.  When I finished college I went straight into a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts degree and specialised in the theatre stream.

“I cottoned on that I’m passionate about drama, and teaching is a way of passing that on, and having a nationally recognised degree means I can work anywhere,” she said.

The Contemporary Arts degree was studied face-to-face, but Laura has been able to complete her Masters online.

Online has been really good. You have supportive lecturers and tutors who are always available by email or discussion boards.

Laura considers her final placement at Queenstown an experience that she might not otherwise have had.

“It's  been a great experience to not only do placement in a different school but in a new town.There’s a lot happening in the arts scene here, especially with the reopening of the Paragon theatre.It’s a privilege to be able to get this type of community and teaching experience,” she said.

Laura participated in the Department of Education Professional Experience in Isolated and Rural Schools (PEIRS) program which provides financial support for accommodation and travel to pre-service teachers undertaking their final placement in certain rural and isolated schools.

“It’s been good to spend my last placement somewhere a little bit different but my long-term future focus is to make my mark on a school in drama," she said.

Become the teacher you want to be with the University of Tasmania's professionally accredited and nationally recognised Master of Teaching (Secondary).