After spending 20 years working as a Chartered Account in the automotive industry, mature age Master of Teaching student Ben Heritage decided he wanted no regrets. It was time for a change!
“I was discussing next steps in my career with the firm I was working for,” said Ben. “The decision making process gave me time to pause and reflect on my career. As well as having an accounting qualification, I also have an amateur sports background coaching volleyball part-time in primary schools. My interest working in primary education has been nagging me for the last 10 years and this moment was the trigger.”
With no time to spare Ben left his full-time job on a Friday and started his Master of Teaching specialising in Primary Education at Peninsula campus the following Monday. So far, the journey back into full-time study has been a very positive one.
“Learning has changed so much since I did my undergraduate degree,” said Ben. “The interactive nature of everything being available online when I need it is fantastic. Access to teaching staff and other professionals has also been significantly different to my undergraduate experience. The amount of interaction and support offered now is a huge advantage.”
Ben lives locally so studying from Peninsula campus is the perfect location for him to balance full-time study with family life.
“Monash has a great reputation and being close to home is a great fit as I have a young family. It’s a busy household but I’m trying to balance things alongside school hours. Sometimes I probably study more than I need to but I feel you get out of it what you put in.”
Industry placement takes place early on in the Master of Teaching and Ben has already spent 3 weeks at a local primary school. He says it was great to happen so early on in the course as it demonstrated that what is being taught is completely transferable. During the placement, Ben was assigned a year 6 class and had a mentor to guide him through the learning experience.
“You’re not thrown in the deep end at all and the mentor teacher helps to assist, allowing you to pause and reflect along the way. It was great to see the key learning theories we are being taught in action in the classroom.”
Ben’s advice to other mature age students thinking about going back into full-time study is to “get started and just jump in, there’s no age barrier to academic thought.”