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Why Study Teaching? Undergraduate courses in teaching
Posted by Carly Bennett | March 26th 2012

Always wanted to be a teacher & help to inspire the next generation? An undergraduate course in teaching allows students to explore teaching methods and techniques alongside their subjects of interest. A great career option as graduates are always in demand, Griffith University student Carly interviewed an Education student to get his take on what it's like doing a teaching course.

Teaching has long been a popular discipline for undergraduate students to study. With a range of specialty areas and types of undergraduate education courses on offer, teaching is a course that gives graduates hopeful prospects for a stable and rewarding career path, not to mention the lengthy holiday bonuses! I spoke to fourth year secondary education student Rhys Brady, from Griffith University about his experiences so far.

Why study teaching?

When asked why he chose to become a sport and geography teacher Mr Brady said it was as much about job security as job satisfaction.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in the sporting field and have the ability to coach and work with students to see them develop… and with teaching, you’re kind of guaranteed a job,” he says.

Teaching takes you anywhere in the world!

Mr Brady tells me that while each teaching degree is specialised, you’re not necessarily restricted to that discipline.

“Teaching really is transferable around the world,” he tells me.

“You could get your degree (in Australia) then go over to England or even somewhere like China and just teach English.”

“Once you have the basic teaching standards, it would just be a matter of picking up different cultures.”

Is teaching for me?

Mr Brady says teaching is a rewarding degree to study, but it’s not for everyone.

“There’s definitely got to be a level of understanding, tolerance and patience…you have to want to help people,” he says.

“Being a teacher you have to be flexible, and willing to put up with mischievous kids!”

“But its mainly about wanting to guide student learning.”

Despite teaching being touted as a mainly female oriented career path, Mr Brady says it depends on your specialisation.

“I feel a little marginalised in some of my geography based courses, but it’s pretty much a 50/50 split in the other classes,” he says.

Mr Brady says it’s important that males take up the challenge and apply for teaching degrees.

“Young boys need role models, and through teaching you can be that person to assist them in developing into a good person,” he says.

What’s involved?

Undergraduate teaching courses are split into theory and practical components, with the first few semesters generally focused on learning content and teaching disciplines. The latter part of the degree is practical based, which Mr Brady informs me “directs you to become a proper teacher.”

“In my second and third years I did five week pracs, 7am to 4pm everyday,” he says.

“You get thrown in the deep end, but it helps to understand a little more about what it takes to become a teacher.”

He says you’re constantly learning and being exposed to different students, teachers and learning environments, which helps you “adapt” and get a feel for the teaching field.

“After you go on your prac experience, you realise whether teaching is what you really want to do,” he says.

When asked what advice he’d give to prospective teaching students, Mr Brady was quick to answer.

“Think of the holidays!”

“But really, it’s a fun course. You’re learning topics within a field you enjoy, and you get to meet so many like-minded people,” he says.


If you think teaching is your calling, then head to the Education section of our website for more information.