Leaving one career to start an education degree at age 34, Marc Simpkins is proof that it’s never too late to follow your passion.
I went to school in England and left in 1996, so I didn’t have any recognised qualifications or proof of study that was recent enough to be accepted by any university. I did a one-year bridging course to help with my application, and then arrived in Melbourne one week before classes started at RMIT. My new peers were the key to my transition!
On my first day at RMIT, I had this plan: don’t get distracted, keep to myself, get good marks. I soon realised that the connections that you make with people, the relationships you build, both professionally and personally, are instrumental to your success in the course and your life that runs parallel to it. Meeting so many different people, from the five-year-olds on placement to the lecturers, is what I’ve enjoyed most.
Hearing from students at other universities, RMIT students seem to spend more time in a classroom. Because we get so much placement time, RMIT really prepares you well for your transition into a teaching career.
Education is so fundamental to a child’s life – a lot goes on away from the classroom and I want to be able to make sure children come to school from a good place and go to sleep even happier. Teaching becomes your life, you can’t just turn your feelings off when the bell goes. Teaching isn’t just about who gets the best marks, you need to be capable of taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture to help your students reach their potential.
My advice to people thinking about a career in education is to immerse yourself in every opportunity you come across. Use those experiences to find yourself as a person and a teacher.