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How Naomi studied a teaching degree while working full time

This article appears in:
Student Stories, Education

Wondering if it’s possible to balance study and family? It's a question Naomi asked herself before starting a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood). Turns out you can. She did her teaching degree while working, having her third baby and moving interstate. Read on to see how she overcame the challenges of studying teaching as a busy working mum. 



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Why did you study teaching?

I wanted to work as a junior primary or pre-school teacher. I'm passionate about the future of education and inspiring, encouraging and engaging young children. I want them to want to learn. 

I hope that my story inspires someone doubting themselves, because if I can do it, anyone can.

What are the biggest challenges you've faced while studying?

Trying to juggle assignments and family all at once! I had my third baby when I started my teaching degree and then we moved interstate for my husband's job. I often doubted whether I could keep going. 

But, that was the beauty of studying online at CDU. My degree was flexible enough that I could lighten my study load if I needed a break or even take a semester off. 

I hope that my story inspires someone doubting themselves, because if I can do it, anyone can.

I was careful to choose a university that knew how to deliver flexible degrees. 

Practically speaking, how did you tackle your teaching degree as a working mum? 

Time management is non-negotiable! Studying online meant I could log on when it suited my family and work hours, but I still had to set out a consistent block of time to stay on top of things. I found that the weeks merge into each other very quickly and being a working mum of three children, I couldn't afford to get behind.

I also forged strong relationships with lecturers and fellow students through the online learning platform and forums. This collaboration meant I had people to bounce questions and ideas around with, especially during assignment periods. 

I was careful to choose a university that knew how to deliver flexible degrees. It was important to me that lecturers and student support services were available, helpful and easy to contact. CDU didn't disappoint! 

What's your advice to others considering a teaching degree?

Take your teaching degree unit by unit and focus on the assignment tasks, weekly readings and online posts. I also recommend taking advantage of the summer semester subjects if you can. This helps to fast-track the degree if, like me, you're busy and can't manage a full-time study load.

Time management is non-negotiable! 

What was the highlight of your teaching degree? 

I met some amazing, lifelong friends during my time at CDU and taught some incredible students with a diverse range of languages, cultural experiences and knowledge. 

One of the highlights was the opportunity to complete a 10-day teaching placement at Tenby International School in Penang, Malaysia. It was a challenging experience, but I grew and learned so much about myself - in and out of the classroom. 

I grew and learned so much about myself - in and out of the classroom. 

What do you think makes a great teacher?

Great teachers develop collaborative and respectful relationships with students and their families to facilitate learning. This is important for creating a space where students can use their existing knowledge, strengths and curiosity to make sense of the world we live in. 

It's also important to reflect on your own teaching practice and continually improve the way you work.

 

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This article appears in:
Student Stories, Education

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