Juggling study, work and being a mum isn’t easy, but Elizabeth Jukes’s passion for childhood education motivated her to excel.
I decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) as a mature age student when I was seven months pregnant. I deferred the first semester and started my degree when my baby girl was six months old.
My inspiration for teaching is my family, and I wanted to be able to study something I am passionate about and also continue to work and be a mum at the same time.
I live in a town in South Gippsland with a population of 2300. The drive to Bundoora takes two hours on a good day and longer in peak hour traffic, but I was able to group a lot of my classes so my timetable was only one or two days a week. Due to the distance, people often question why I chose RMIT, but I value quality education and would do anything to further myself and my family.
RMIT lecturers are supportive and understand the individual needs of students, and the university also offers a placement system that enables students to have hands-on experience to build confidence and skills before entering the workforce.
This degree can be used all over Australia. I like knowing that I will always have a degree that can be used wherever I choose to go – my dream job is to be a kindergarten teacher but I also enjoy teaching others, including adults. This versatile degree will be rewarding in many aspects.
I believe a good teacher is someone who is passionate and values education. An early childhood teacher should have the ability to take opportunities and use them as learning tools for young children, and have good communication skills and the ability to form trusting relationships with those around them. They should be flexible and respectful, and, most of all, will be able to lay the foundations of learning for young children.