What’s it like to study Secondary Teaching


Thinking of a degree in secondary teaching? Hear from a current student about what it’s like to study the course at Murdoch.

Are you passionate about education and want to teach our next generation? If you’re interested in helping young people achieve their dreams, then a career in secondary education might be for you. 

We spoke to mature-aged Murdoch student Kathleen Millar about what it’s like to study secondary education, her reasons for choosing Murdoch and her advice for future students.

A little bit about me

I’m thirty-six years old, with two children aged eleven and fourteen. I never completed Year 12 at high school – I made it halfway and then chose to work instead of continuing my studies.

I’ve always wanted to go to university but never thought it was possible until I enrolled part time into the Bachelor in Secondary Education (majoring in HASS and minoring in English) at Murdoch University. As you can imagine, I have very limited time for hobbies – however I enjoy spending my spare time with my family! 

Why I chose to study secondary education at Murdoch

I chose to study at Murdoch because flexible options were offered that catered to my needs as a mature age student. As my work commitments don’t enable me to attend campus, I needed to be able to access all my learnings online. Murdoch gives me that freedom to choose when and how I want to study.

Why I was interested in secondary education

I’ve always wanted to become a teacher, even in high school where I completed work experience in a primary school. However, as I did not complete Year 12, I never thought university was an option until I discovered I could enter as a mature age student at Murdoch.

What I love about Murdoch’s teaching degree is it’s helped me nurture my passion for learning! I can also apply the strategies I’ve learnt from my degree to all aspects of my life such as my children, career and my future career. I’m excited to go into a career knowing you can make a difference every single day to the lives of students.

My student life experience on campus

I encourage my friends and family to study at Murdoch as there is more flexibility within courses, and the lecturers and academic staff are extremely supportive of your personal journey. 

The Academic Chair for Secondary Teaching, Alison Hilton, has been an immense help to me throughout my degree. If I have any questions Alison replies almost immediately, even when I am not expecting a response until the next morning!

She was very supportive when I was on my teaching placement in Kalgoorlie, regularly checking in, as well as talking through any issues or situations where I needed support.

What I learned doing practical work experience 

I was fortunate to complete my teaching placement at Kalgoorlie Boulder Community High School, which has been one of my greatest achievements during my time studying at Murdoch.

The placement helped me to identify that building positive relationships with students is a priority and once that foundation has been set with students, the rest, such as increased student learning, will follow.

I highly recommend teaching students to expand from metro areas and consider completing placements in rural schools.

My advice for future Murdoch students  

Embrace every opportunity, no matter how small or big they may be. For mature age students, the biggest message I can give to you is if you’ve been out of a classroom for some time, you are more than capable and adaptable than you think you are. You are never too old to learn something new.

Interested in kick-starting a career in education? Learn more about our degree in secondary teaching.

Posted on:

13 Apr 2021

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