By Celeste D'Souza
I am currently in my last year of studying my Bachelor of Education (Primary) course. Throughout Year 12 I had a tough decision between which courses I wanted to put in my preferences list. I knew that I always had a passion to teach the younger year levels but I had seen other courses that offered P – 12 which seemed like a great opportunity that took the same amount of time. After many sleepless nights I managed to weigh up the pros and cons and for me and the course offered at ACU was the best choice.
Many people in my cohort decided to enroll in the course as a backup option as they did not get into their first preference, or had the attitude of “Oh teaching is easy! I’ll do that - there are so many holidays!” This attitude was quickly changed after we commenced first year.
The first year of the course was very different to what I expected. The 8 units that I undertook had nothing to do with becoming a teacher and it made it very frightening. The units were just like I was back in Year 12 all over again. It made me doubt this course and wondered if this was the right choice for me. Another unfavourable aspect is that first year in this course did not have any placements which wasn’t great as we didn’t have the opportunity to experience school life. As a passionate student who always wanted to be a teacher, I knew I had to stick it out.
This course isn’t for everyone as was clear in the decline of numbers that came into second year. Many students didn’t enjoy first year and knew from that moment that it wasn’t the right career choice for them. I found second year to be much better than the previous. This is when I began to feel like a teacher and knew that I had picked the right career.
Lecturers and Tutors began forming relationships with us as pre-service teachers and not just as students. It was great to come into an environment where people want to help you to reach your full potential. This continued throughout the rest of my course and I am very glad that I now have the knowledge to become a teacher. There have been a range of placements now which has made me feel much more comfortable and prepared to be in the classroom environment.
Here are some of the reasons why I chose to study this course in comparison to the others:
Catholic Accreditation: Some of the units in this course were catholic accredited. This meant I was able to apply for catholic schools which also expands my options when looking to apply for jobs.
Reputation: Teachers and graduates of this course would constantly tell me that this course was the best choice and really prepared them for their teaching careers.
Facilities: As I walked around the campus, it had very modern facilities and everything looked nice and new.
I am now into my final year of studying this course and there are a lot of things I have learnt about it:
Size: my teaching courses is small, with my cohort having a maximum of 200 students. This means that lecture and tutorial sizes are small and you are able to form a relationship with the lecturers and tutors.
Subjects: Even though the first year in this course is difficult and has little to do with becoming a teacher, it will help you in the long run. The skills learnt in your first year will make you into the best pre-service teacher and teacher in the future.
Organisation: In this course, there can be 5 units in one semester including placement. This means that it is a huge workload and it is essential to be organised and professional.
If I could do anything different I would not have stressed about my ATAR as much. If you are passionate about this course, there will be a way to get in. It might take a bit longer but you will be successful. This is a 12 week course each semester, which means you really need to keep on top of things. Between placements and assignments, it is essential that you stay up to date.
Overall, I am very happy that I have undertaken my tertiary education at in this course. This course has made me feel prepared for teaching life. As a student, there will be many ups and downs but fortunately there are many services at the university that will help you get where you need to. Through the support, mentoring, subjects, lesson planning and resources, ACU is a great university that delivers their best courses and strives for excellence and I am proud of my decision.