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Associate Professor Andrea Allard
Acting Head, School of Education
On behalf of all my colleagues in the School of Education I would like to welcome you to Deakin University and welcome you to the professional education community.
Your decision to pursue a career in teaching is one of the best decisions you will make in your life. Not only is teaching a career that provides a huge amount of personal fulfilment, but it is also a highly significant role in our society.
Teaching is a unique profession. All of the other professions that I can think of (dentistry, medicine, law, social work etc) are ‘fix up’ professions. That is, when something goes wrong with our bodies, our lives or our relationships, these professionals use their professional skills to fix up whatever is the problem. Teaching, however, is not a ‘fix up’ profession. It is a profession that is about mainstream life, everyone’s life. Teaching enhances and enriches the lives of others it doesn’t just fix them up.
As a teacher you will have unique opportunities to shape the lives of the next generation. That is a big responsibility. It’s maybe daunting to think that you will have the opportunity to influence the lives of those who, in the middle of this century, will be the parents and grandparents of the generation three on from ‘Gen Y’. Your students will be the thought leaders, the political, business and community leaders who will be addressing the issues of the latter part of this century. These will be issues that we are only beginning to think about (climate change, water use) and issues that we cannot even imagine. As a teacher you will really have the opportunity to ‘touch the future’.
How do you prepare for such a significant role? This is also a challenge for us in the School of Education. How do we provide initial teacher education courses that will prepare you, the future teachers to be ready and able to teach, not only today’s generation of students, but generations to come?
At Deakin we believe that the answer to that question is ‘by providing a diverse range of high quality courses that provide the knowledge and experience teachers will need to become competent, beginning teachers’. We don’t believe that you can prepare yourself once and for all for such a significant and ever-changing role. Life-long professional learning and development will be just as important as your initial teacher education. That is also why at Deakin we provide a comprehensive set of post-graduate, professional development courses. We aim to support you throughout your career.
Your initial teacher education course has been designed to provide you with the base knowledge, skills, understanding and experience for registration as a beginning teacher in Victoria. The Victorian Institute of Teaching has an agreed set of Standards that graduating teachers need to be able to demonstrate.
The Standards relate to three domains of professional knowledge, practice and engagement. These standards are:
You have taken on a highly challenging profession. Society will demand much of you and your students will thank you for making a significant contribution to their lives. Your studies at Deakin are a first step on this professional journey. You will face many challenges along the way, especially in your first year. The Deakin staff will support you on your way. Don’t be reticent about seeking advice or support, your development is too important to us and to you for you to feel lost or uncertain. We look forward to sharing this journey with you and supporting you to achieve your life goals.