These days, industry experience is essential career preparation for students studying at university. Work experience, practicums, professional placements, service learning opportunities and volunteer work – all of these offer opportunities to ‘test the waters’ in the workplace to better prepare you for your chosen career.
And that’s exactly what’s on offer to UWA’s Master of Teaching students. We have a variety of opportunities to help you engage actively and positively in teacher preparation.
There are several scholarships available to support students to complete a Master of Teaching at UWA. Schools such as Christ Church Grammar School and All Saints’ College have generously donated funds to help high-achieving students pursue a teaching career - and some scholarships even include the opportunity to undertake work experience in their classrooms.
Julian Khan, who took up a scholarship offered by Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont, found the experience a great start to his career:
“The Christ Church Grammar School Initial Teacher Education Scholarship included a year-long internship, which gave me invaluable opportunities to learn from highly experienced and effective teachers, as well as to improve areas of my teaching practice, including lesson planning, differentiating instruction, classroom management and assessment design.”
“The experience provided by this internship allowed me to quickly land my dream job at an innovative technology-based school in Melbourne.”
All Master of Teaching courses include 70 or more days of professional practice. The Graduate School of Education will coordinate your placements and you’ll get to experience teaching in a variety of year levels and school contexts. You’ll get support and guidance from your mentor teacher at the placement school and from staff at the Graduate School of Education.
Dr Gemma Scarparolo, lecturer and primary program course coordinator, explains the importance of practicums for all student teachers:
“We really seek to offer as many school-based practical experiences as possible as we truly believe that this is such an important part of transitioning and making the real links from theory to practice.”
According to Shayla Prescott, the practicum experience allowed her to form a special connection with the children she taught and feel prepared to teach:
“On my last day of prac, the kids made a card with their faces on it and they’d all written in it, and they were all crying as they were saying goodbye. You can read so much about how to teach and the theory behind it but actually having that experience is what makes a good teacher.”
In the Master of Teaching (Secondary), you can join the Volunteer Initial Teaching Program in which you’ll spend two hours per week or fortnight in a partner school. You won’t prepare lessons, but will contribute to learning under the guidance of the class teacher.
Graduate Liz Sage explains:
"The volunteer program got me used to being in a classroom in a low pressure environment where it was not my job to teach, rather to just help out and get to know students, which is a rewarding endeavour. It really is a win/win situation…I get some practical experience, while teachers get some support with difficult classes and students have an extra person in the room to offer assistance."
To gain extra experience in schools, boost your CV, or even see if teaching is for you while you’re still in your undergrad degree, why not consider volunteer opportunities that involve tutoring and mentoring?
Guild clubs like Ignite (an ongoing mentoring program in Perth metro schools) and Teach Learn Grow (offering week-long tutoring programs in regional areas) provide valuable experience to student teachers.
Professional development sessions
The Graduate School of Education provides free PD sessions to enhance your preparation for teaching. Topics in 2020 included resilience for teachers (with the School’s psychology experts David Lawrence, Ken Glasgow and Stephen Houghton) and teaching young people with acute and chronic illness, with a guest speaker from Ronald McDonald House.
Interested to see where a degree in teaching could take you? Explore our courses in Education.