Mildura's future teachers share their passion

In the past ten years there have been concerns about shortages of teachers in science, maths and languages, as well as early career teachers, teachers in remote, rural and disadvantaged schools and male teachers.

As the country grapples with these workforce issues, Jake and Scott are two Mildura students who share why they chose to pursue careers as teachers.

Scott Saville is a father to three young boys and says he’s wanted to study to become a teacher since he was at school.

“My Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer whilst I was in Year 12, which left me with the only option at the time to drop out to gain fulltime work to pay for our expenses.  I thought my chances had long passed to gain my Bachelor’s degree. Only after hearing about other graduates starting as mature age students did I enquire to La Trobe about my options.  The staff helped tremendously with options and pathways and now I have transferred into the Bachelor of Education (Primary).

Scott refers to himself as a “professional juggler” as he manages work, full time study and three kids.

“I wouldn’t say that is a breeze, it takes a lot of work, but it is manageable.  Personally, anything worth doing requires effort on your part!

“I’m honestly enjoying using my brain, brushing the dust off, after so many years out of study!  I am also enjoying the interaction with different people.  Most of all I am enjoying the placement I had with my supervising teacher, Ben Milsom – that would be my favourite part of the course so far.”

“I chose primary teaching partly on some advice I had received from my wife, who is a teacher.  I would like to work with younger children.  I am hopeful I’ll be able to help them establish a love for learning, while helping to achieve the highest level of skill that they are capable of.”

Jake Clark is pursuing a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), with aspirations to move into maths and science teaching.

“I decided to pursue secondary teaching because I love to help and motivate people to become the best version of themselves. I love seeing, or creating, that lightbulb moment within students.”

To enable him to teach maths and physics in high schools, Jake is undertaking classes delivered from La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.  During the pandemic, Jake was able to benefit from these classes being delivered online.

“This has allowed me, so far, to complete two and a half years of maths and physics completely online. It has required a lot of self-motivation to get through the topics, but I really do enjoy the classes.  The ability to complete them from distance has given me a financial boost.

Like Scott, Jake says his favourite part of the course is going on placement, applying what he’s learnt at Uni, into the classroom.  His plan is to one day take his study to another level.

“I plan on one day furthering my study in mathematics and physics, with a possible idea of becoming a maths or physics university lecturer in Mildura.”

If you’d like to pursue a career as a teacher, whether that be a kinder, primary or secondary school teacher, there are many pathways available in Mildura.  Browse the La Trobe School of Education website, or book in for a one-on-one consultation.