Aubree wanted a job where she could be creative and nurturing, and loved the idea of not doing the same thing every day, so she pursued a career as a kindergarten teacher with a graduate diploma.
I completed an undergraduate degree in political science and had plans for law school, but after deciding that law school wasn’t for me I had to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I realised I had always been drawn to teaching, as a tutor in university and as a camp counsellor, and I also loved my time working with young children as a nanny and babysitter. I wanted a career where I could be creative and nurturing, and I love the idea of not doing the same thing every day.
My favourite thing about the Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) is the emphasis on practical experience through work placement. I have never studied a course where you learn something in class and then immediately apply it out in the workforce, and I think it is great. The course is very intensive so you have to take a lot of initiative with your own learning, but so many things came together for me while on placement that I had learned earlier in the semester.
The professors are so nice and approachable, and able to answer any question I have or even just chat about career ideas and becoming qualified. They all have experience in the field, so they know how to apply the theories we are learning, and they have so many great resources to share with us.
I think RMIT has designed a program that really does prepare you to work in an early childhood setting. There is a focus on collaboration – you need to complete most of the assignments in group or pairs – which will happen frequently in the field, because you have to work with others to create lesson plans and other documents. The assignments are all tasks that you might expect to do as an early childhood teacher, so it’s a good way to apply the theory we are learning without getting too abstract. I feel like I could save many of the documents and notes I’ve created in my studies for use when I am working.
The most important attribute you need to become a good teacher is patience. Everything else you can learn, but I think just having patience with children and your co-educators will help make you a good teacher. You need to be able to work with many different children and always keep your cool so you can build positive relationships, which is what good teachers are able to do. Children need to be able to trust you so they feel comfortable trying new things, and if you naturally view children as competent and capable then your interactions with them will be really rewarding, and you can learn from them too.