I initially began my Swinburne journey studying psychological science, but I soon realised that a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree was actually what I wanted to do. I chose Swinburne because of the community feel around the campus and the Glenferrie area. Growing up in the country, this was really important to me.
Siobhan O’Brien (the Early Childhood Education course convenor) was a regular at the cupcake and coffee shop I used to work at. We chatted a lot and I told her that I was considering transferring to teaching. She single-handedly convinced me to do it, and that Swinburne would be the best place to be. Glenferrie is genuinely my home away from home. Considering my actual home is 500 kilometres away, it’s so nice to have such a beautiful area.
As part of my teaching degree, I’ve completed three placement units so far. My first was in Thailand with a three-year-old kinder, my second was at Deepdene Primary in a Prep classroom, and my third was in a Grade 3 classroom in Berwick. Each placement taught me something different, and interestingly, that I'd love to work with children in all of those age groups.
Ruby completed her placements at Phyathai School in Bangkok, Deepdene Primary School and Brentwood Park Primary School.
Thailand was a highlight. Living and working in central Bangkok for three weeks with people who were passionate and excited by education was the best thing in my degree. When I finished, I was absolutely in love with my Grade 3 students. I didn’t want to leave – those kids made me laugh every single day.
Their personalities are exploding and they’re interested in the things I am. We had so many conversations about TV, movies and games. They are excited and engaged when you try new things – they really value your opinion.
I’ve been so lucky to have had incredible support on my placements from my mentors, my lecturers, the placement team, the support staff and my peers. Pro tip – get a placement group chat going. It’s so nice to talk to your friends as they’re going through similar experiences such as planning lessons, dealing with tricky behaviours and managing assignments.
There are a lot of jobs involving children where you need a specific qualification such as teaching to be employed. I have worked in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC), holiday and vacation programs, behavioural therapy, and as a nanny both privately and within an agency.