Top students inspired by their own educators to pursue Monash education in 2018

7 February 2018

With the start of a new academic year approaching, we recently caught up with two of our new students and asked why they chose Monash education and how their passion to teach came first and foremost.

Stefan Sakellaridis


Stefan Sakellaridis

  • Stefan has enrolled in a double degree course - Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Secondary Education and Bachelor of Arts.
  • He completed his secondary school studies last year and achieved an ATAR of 98.4.

Stefan’s initial career outlook took a refreshing turn after attending the VCE Careers Expo 2017 which presented up-to-date course information and other choices not considered before. After circulating amongst the exhibitors for several hours his decision was final and education at Monash his new purpose.

Why have you chosen to study a teaching course?

“I chose a teaching course because a career in education really appeals to me. Working at a school as a teacher seems like a positive and engaging environment, and I really like the idea of providing direct help to young people rather than working behind a desk as my daily job. As such, I am hoping that a teaching course will prepare me to find a place in an environment like this.”

A positive learning environment throughout school fostered the teaching spark in Stefan and the enjoyment of sharing ideas with classmates the beginning of his journey to Monash.

When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?

“I had always tossed around the idea of being a teacher, and people had occasionally suggested that I should become one. However, the moment I truly decided was probably after a Careers Expo held at Caulfield Racecourse last year, where I went to a talk about teaching courses at Monash. After that day, the idea of studying teaching really stuck, more than the idea of any other career path I had ever considered.”

After researching his future prospects, for Stefan it was reputation and ranking that helped Monash outshine other universities.

Why did you choose Monash?

“Monash has everything I could possibly ask for in a university when it comes to my teaching degree. Firstly, it boasts some really impressive statistics when it comes to results as they are the number one university for education in Australia! Beyond that, the new Learning and Teaching Building at the Clayton campus is incredible and I can’t wait to undertake my studies there. On top of it all, the Clayton campus is only a 10 minute drive making the entire package even more appealing. In short, I asked myself “how could I NOT choose Monash?!”

After recently touring the new learning and teaching building Stefan was assured Monash education has the best professional outlook, highlighting the remarkable innovative learning space as inspiration.

What are you most looking forward to in your studies?

“I’m really looking forward to becoming a professional in something - at high school, I learnt a bit of everything and whilst I really value that education I think it’s exciting to work towards some specialised skills that will hopefully lead me into a fulfilling career. Aside from that, I can’t wait to meet new people while undertaking my studies, and making the most of everything the campus has to offer.”

Stefan is looking forward to the upcoming Monash orientation week in mid-February, mingling with old classmates and learning more about the range of Monash clubs and on-campus activities. We wish Stefan all the best throughout his Monash education course.

Kirsten Fletcher


Kirsten Fletcher

  • Kirsten enrolled in a double degree course - Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Secondary Education and Bachelor of Science.
  • Kirsten completed secondary school studies last year and achieved an ATAR of 98.1

It was little surprise for Kirsten’s family and friends when she selected Monash education as first preference. The top scoring student with an intuitively helpful disposition was known as the go-to pupil for math solutions amongst teachers and classmates at school.

Why have you chosen to study a teaching course?

"I have chosen to study a teaching course because I can think of nothing better than being able to share my love of learning with others and encourage them to be passionate about their own learning! Becoming a teacher feels like the perfect occupation for me as I will have the opportunity to use my communication skills and love for social interactions to help the next generations discover where their skills lie and all the awesome things they can achieve.”

Kirsten praises her previous school environment and teachers for supporting her achievements to date and who recognised her propensity for methodology and formulas. Sharing her spare time to offer math tutoring was an early indicator of Kirsten’s outlook as a future educator.

When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?

“The idea of pursuing education as a career first dawned on me in year 7 but it was year 10 that I really made my mind up. I was incredibly lucky to be able to see my dream job in action every day and because I love the whole school routine so much I never considered doing anything else after my experiences in year 10 doing both work experience at my primary school and also having countless opportunities to help out my math teacher in my own class.”

An enthusiastic, supportive and nurturing learning environment are reoccurring teaching virtues throughout Kirsten’s own education background. Inspired by this experience it was easy for Kirsten to see how her skills and abilities could be applied to her own future professional endeavors in education. She further provisioned her teaching passion recently in Cambodia as part of a volunteering group teaching basic English to local children through learning games.

Was there someone who inspired you - a teacher, family member?

“My year 10 math teacher held the key role in encouraging me to pursue my love of teaching as a career. He always gave me opportunities to help out my fellow classmates and sometimes told people to “go ask Kirsten” when he was busy to help me grow in my skills as a teacher. He and all the other teachers at my school showed such a passion for their work and I couldn’t help but be further encouraged by the obvious fulfillment they got from their work. What else more could you want from your lifetime job?!”

Kirsten attended several open day events, touring universities to compare courses maps, facilities and general campus vibe with Monash creating a positive impression. In particular, the Monash double degree learning structure and desirable course map suited Kirsten’s expectations. As an added incentive she was also in favor of Monash’s close proximity to home.

Why did you choose Monash?

“As soon as I walked onto the Clayton Campus on open day I could see and feel the communal and welcoming environment that is so present and really felt at home. Monash’s high-ranking in education and the friendliness of all the students and staff I met really left me with no doubt that this was the university I wanted to go to. I had a bit to do with some other universities with a more academic-focus and even though I love being around people I know will push me, I was more so looking for a place where I will be able to excel as well as making friends who want to succeed in a somewhat less competitive environment.”

Kirsten is eager to begin her Monash education course and looking forward to interacting with like-minded peers with a similar passion for teaching and conquering the challenges of a double degree course structure.

What are you most looking forward to in your studies?

“I can’t wait to meet some fellow education nerds! Coming from a relatively small school the only people I’ve been able to relate to in terms of my passions was my teachers. I’m looking forward to meeting other young people who are just as passionate about education as I am; the prospect seems somewhat far-fetched for me though especially after being constantly labelled as “crazy” by my peers for actually wanting to return to school after already being there for 13 years, but how can you not love it?!”

Kirsten is looking forward to the upcoming Monash orientation week in mid-February and we wish her the best of luck throughout her course with Monash.