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Q&A with a working mum who took on study

This article appears in:
All, Time & Balance, Student Stories, Alumni

Wondering if it’s possible to balance study and family?

Naomi Hart studied a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) online at CDU while working, having her third baby and moving interstate! From learner to teacher, here's her experience in overcoming doubts about studying as a busy working mum and how she didn’t let stress hinder success.


What do you like most about studying with CDU?

I like the flexibility of studying my course online as it allowed me to log on when it suited my family and work hours. The lecturers and Student Central staff were always helpful and were contactable at all times. The Learnline forums allowed me to discuss issues and ask questions with other students. This collaboration was especially beneficial as an online student when I was stuck for ideas about assignments.

What has been the most challenging aspect of studying for you?

The most challenging thing for me was trying to juggle assignments and family all at once. I actually had my third baby whilst starting this degree and then my husband got a job in Victoria which meant moving states also.  Often I wondered and doubted myself and if I could keep going but it was easy to withdraw from units if I needed to have a break which helped too. That's the beauty of studying online at CDU; it's transferable and easy to pick up if you do need a semester off or a lighter study load.

My advice to others would be just to take it unit by unit and focus on the assignment tasks, weekly readings and posts. Also, I would recommend taking advantage of the summer semester subjects as they help so much in fast tracking the degree if you are busy like me and can't do full time loads.

How will you use knowledge to help shape a better future?

I am hoping to work in the Junior Primary or Pre School years as a teacher. I am passionate about the future of education and more specifically inspiring, encouraging and engaging young children to want to learn. I see myself as not a teacher but as a facilitator of learning through developing collaborative and respectful relationships with students and their families to ensure an environment whereby each student can use their prior knowledge, strengths and curiosity to assist them to make sense of this global world we live in.  All children have the right to high quality education and I strive to always ensure I am able to provide this through reflective teaching practice.

I'm passionate about the future of education

What is your top study tip?

Try and set a consistent time in your home / work-life to keep on top of the online forums and workshops as best as you can. I found that the weeks merge into each other very quickly and being a working mum of 3 children, I couldn't afford to get behind.

And lastly... 

I would like to say the most amazing part of my whole time studying with CDU has been given the opportunity in 2016 to travel to Penang in Malaysia to complete a 10 day teaching placement at Tenby International School. I was able to select my own placement schools and tailor it around my own children. The experience challenged me and my teaching but I definitely have grown and learnt so much about myself both in and out of the classroom by going through it. I met some amazing lifelong friends in the process from CDU and am forever grateful for being given the chance to teach such incredible students with a diverse range of language, cultural experiences and knowledges.

I hope that my story inspires someone doubting they can do it because if I can…anyone can. Thank you CDU.

To find out more about education courses at CDU, click here

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This article appears in:
All, Time & Balance, Student Stories, Alumni

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