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2013 Career Advisers Seminar Friday 15 March 2013 RMIT Storey Hall
Teaching in the Cook Islands An educational journey Michelle Low RMIT Student
About me… My name is Michelle Low. I am a 4 th year student, studying a Bachelor of Education at the Bundoora Campus. I am a mature age student who decided to have a career change. (best decision of my life) My dream was to visit an overseas country to study/do a placement. Had my heart set on the Cook Islands Placement, in particular. Feel very privileged to have had the opportunity! 1 RMIT University© 2013 Career Adviser Seminar
Teacher education programs at RMIT Undergraduate Bachelor of Education (Primary) – Bundoora and Brunswick campuses Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Applied Science (Disability) Postgraduate Graduate Diplomas in Education (Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood) TAFE Education Support (Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma) 2013 Career Adviser Seminar RMIT University©
Why study teaching at RMIT? Professional placement Double the required amount for registration as a teaching in Victoria Starts straight away, in Year 1, Semester 1. Students will complete 8 months of placement days by graduation! Feeling of community Small class sizes, strong connections between students and staff Expert academics RMIT has been teaching education for over 50 years Leading academics in literacy, mathematics and special education International opportunities Student placements in USA, South Africa, India, Nepal, Cook Islands and more 2013 Career Adviser Seminar RMIT University©
Atiu, Cook Islands… Also known as Enuamanu (Land of the birds) - has the most species of birds on it than any of the other islands in Cook Islands One of the 15 Cook Islands Has a population of approximately 450 Divided by 5 villages Tourists are considered guests Phenomenal singers and dancers. Famous for coffee- Which was delicious! Some of the most lovely, helpful and inspiring people I have ever met in my whole life. 69 2013 Career Adviser Seminar RMIT University©
6 Students chosen across all RMIT education courses -None of us knew each other prior to the placement. -We were very like minded and supportive of each other. -Worked very well as a team! RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar7
How the time spent in Atiu complimented my degree… I had full control of my classroom. It was so beneficial to visit a different country to compare and critique different practices. Learning to work with limited resources and go back to basics I was given numerous opportunities to try new teaching practices and create my own units to teach. RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 8
Personal and professional opportunities we had access to… -We were given many opportunities to try new things, both for teaching and personally. -Conducted an entire school sports day. -Fundraised money for an autistic student. -Obtained our motor bike licenses. -Living together and learning to be tolerant and understanding of each other -Becoming part of the community- 21 st birthdays, the school cultural concert, attending church, sporting events and taking part in some traditional practices such as umus (their version of the BBQ.) making our own plates with leaves and climbing coconut trees! RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 9
Thanks to our mentor in Cook Islands, Bazza Ross, we had opportunities to experience things we probably otherwise wouldnt have, such as: camping out overnight on the beach under a cliff cave and many other adventure… AMAZING! RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 10 Personal and professional opportunities we had access to…
-We were featured in a newspaper article thanking us for our commitment and work done with the students. -Attendance rates at school rose considerably whilst we were there. -Development in the students English language skills. -Sharing of our knowledge and skills to better the teachers in the school. -Touched by the overwhelming generosity for our farewell and attendance of community members at our departure. -I have met with an Atuian since being home. How our work transformed the community… RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 11
Personal transformations as a teacher… -Prior to this placement I was living an insanely busy life here, working 3 jobs, studying full time and trying to maintain a life outside of all of this. -The way of life in Atiu and after this experience, caused me to transform my life. It became apparent my love for teaching and focusing fully on this. I have since decided to spend my last year of study doing just that, focusing on my new career and embracing this wonderful career and University. -I have realised my capabilities and how taking yourself out of your comfort zone, can make you blossom as a teacher. RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 12
I would certainly recommend an international experience! We have all said that it was one of the best things we have ever been lucky enough to be apart of, this experience honestly CHANGED OUR LIVES! RMIT University© 2013 Career Advisors Seminar 13
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