So you want to be a teacher, and you’ve read all the ins and outs of a Bachelor of Education at Monash? You may still feel like some information is missing — what do students actually do throughout the week?
Good news — we are here to clear it up! We chatted to Ella Wright, a second year Arts and Education student at Monash, to find out all about her study experience.
Keep reading if you want to learn!
Why should you study a Bachelor of Education degree at Monash?
“I wholeheartedly believe that teaching is one of the best possible fields you could go into — no two days are the same, and no one will ever make you laugh as much as your Year 8’s placement will,” shared Ella.
“I would say the best reason to attend Monash would be the $3 dahl from Wholefoods in Campus Centre. It’s legendary!” she added.
So if you choose Monash as the uni to study a Bachelor of Education at, you’ll be in safe hands learning from experts and you’ll also have the best dishes for lunch!
Top 3 Pros of an Education degree
#1: The clubs
Ella explained that she has made wonderful friends and enjoyed different experiences through extra-curricular clubs at Monash. There is one she loves in particular.
She said, “Monash Education has one of the best clubs out there — the Monash Education and Teachers’ Association (META)! I actually joined the META committee this year as their secretary, and it has been one of the best things I’ve done whilst at uni.
“We work super hard to ensure that all Education students at Monash have a great experience whilst they’re studying here. The highlight of the year is the Education Ball! Trust me, no one knows how to party like future teachers do.”
#2: Teaching placements
As we mentioned in the last article, Monash offers students multiple placements throughout their degree. Not only do these provide you with great experience and professional development, but they’re a place to build connections too.
Ella explained, “The friends you make on your teaching placements are next to none! Placements are so much fun and a really central part of the degree — but they can also be pretty nerve-racking, especially before you start.
“The other student teachers that you’ll sit with in the staff room will become some of your best friends. So many of my close uni friends are people I met on placements.”
#3: Monash support systems
One thing that students often don’t check before enrolling in uni is what kind of support and provisions they have. Uni can be a tricky time, so it’s great when there’s qualified staff there to support you.
“Monash has really great support systems for their students. We can get free counselling on campus, as well as GPs being available.
“There are people who can help if you’re struggling with any academic aspect of the course, there is a whole team dedicated to supporting us whilst we’re on placements — and there’s hundreds of other support staff at the uni doing countless amazing roles. You just have to reach out and ask for help!” Ella mentioned.
Top 3 Cons of an Education degree
#1: Unpaid placement
“You don’t get paid for placement, meaning most of us juggle placements, uni classes, and jobs — this can be exhausting. In the first three years of the degree, placements are only two weeks long, so it’s not too crazy, although I do know some of my fourth-year friends are struggling with their ten-week placement at the moment,” Ella highlighted.
Placements, in many ways, create extra work to whatever teacher is having you on, so it does make sense not to get paid. However, this juggle can be really challenging, especially if you have bills to pay.
#2: Assignment structure
This is a degree where you have to be on the ball all the time, because assignments can be challenging! The good news is, support is available.
Ella said, “The assignments in Education units are often worth 50-60% of the unit — which can sometimes be really daunting compared to more assignments worth less! However, the assignments are generally quite straight-forward and if you attend the classes, there’s a lot of support and guidance in completing them.”
#3: The course load
Most Education degrees have to be undertaken as a double degree because you need to have a specialised area that you’re able to go into and teach in. However, it can be challenging.
“If you complete a Bachelor of Education as a double degree, you’ll have to overload in your second year, meaning you take five units instead of four,” Ella said.
“To be honest, I’ve actually underloaded most semesters, and will likely take five or even six years to graduate, but it means that I’ve had more time to work alongside studying! I have really loved doing my degree this way, although many of my friends have decided to push through and overload so they could graduate in four years.”
“To be honest, I really can’t think of a single regret! There are a couple of classes I’ve taught whilst on placement that have gone quite badly, but I still don’t regret them — there are a couple of things that you learn the hard way as a teacher, and sometimes classroom management is one of them.
“I always look at these classes as ‘at least it happened on placement, rather than in my own classroom once I’ve graduated,’” shared Ella.
What do you wish you had known before starting a Bachelor of Education at Monash?
“I wish I knew that it takes time to adjust to university,” Ella said.
This is true of many students — starting uni is a big wake up call and can be very different to school!
“To be quite honest, I hated my first two weeks, and wanted to drop out and go back to my retail job. Now, I wouldn’t swap teaching and studying at Monash for the world — I’m so grateful I gave it time.
“Uni is different to high school, and it’s different to working full-time which is what I was doing before my first year. Give yourself a while to adjust, just because you don’t enjoy the first couple of weeks, doesn’t mean that you’re in the wrong degree or you’re not cut out for uni,” she explained.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“I feel so incredibly lucky to be a Monash Education student, as Monash is [one of] the highest ranked education faculties in Australia.
“I feel this really shows in the quality of the teaching staff at Monash — the people that will teach you in this degree are incredibly experienced, inspiring, and are usually just legends in general. Our tutors consistently have 40+ years’ experience in the classroom, which means that you can really pick their brains and they’ll have some sage advice for you!” shared Ella.
What inspired you to choose a Monash Bachelor of Education?
“Okay, this might sound a little shallow, but one of the reasons I picked Monash is our beautiful Education building! The Learning and Teaching Building, or the LTB as we all call it, was finished in 2018 and just opened right before I visited the campus for my first time at an open day.
“I am still a little bit in awe every time I walk through it — and nothing beats grabbing one of the tables in the corner of the third floor in the morning so that you can watch the sunrise over campus whilst studying. I know nothing about architecture, but even I know this building is stunning!” Ella highlighted.
There’s certainly something to be said for Ella’s comment — a lovely, academic space can make a huge difference to your work ethic!
What are the possible career paths?
The specific job you get out of teaching is very dependent on your specialisations and double degree. You might go straight into a classroom, or you could work behind the scenes.
Some key careers include:
- Primary teacher
- High school teacher
- Early years/preschool teacher
- Education consultant
- English as an additional language teacher
- Community education officer
Lucinda Garbutt-Young hopes to one day be writing for a big-shot newspaper… or maybe just for a friendly magazine in the arts sector. Right now, she is enjoying studying a Bachelor of Public Communication (Public Relations and Journalism) at UTS while she writes on the side. She also loves making coffees for people in her job as a barista, and loves nothing more than a sun shower.