Cairns graduates master their careers in teaching

Published:19 August 2020

Masters of Teaching student Brooke Byars received a job offer from the school in which she completed practicum.

CQUniversity Cairns has continued to produce some of the most employable teachers with all of the 2020 mid-year Masters of Teaching (Primary and Secondary) students offered positions in the region before graduation.

The sought-after students received employment opportunities within the schools they completed their teaching placements – 60 per cent of students were offered full-time permanent positions with 40 per cent extended contract positions.

Education Lecturer Dr Miriam Ham believed the students' work ethic coupled with extensive classroom experience has helped to build CQUniversity a reputation for producing job-ready graduates.

“Teaching is a great career path due to the shortage of teachers in Cairns, but our students receive permanent positions quickly as they are skilled in working in tougher schools.

“Our Masters students do significantly more practical days in schools than other university’s that helps to improve our student’s skills.

“The students work directly with these schools and teaching staff during prac which demonstrate the calibre of CQU students.”

With student from different backgrounds, the Masters of Teaching program brings a unique perspective to the classroom with their prior industry experience, knowledge and skills an asset to their chosen discipline areas.

“We have people from all walks of life - Marketing, Science, Law. They usually tell me that they always thought they would end up teaching at some point but were drawn to different careers when they finished high school,” Dr Ham said.

This was true for mid-year graduate Brooke Byars who used the program as a pathway into a successful teaching career after she had completed a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and spent over a decade in the hotel industry.

“From a young age, I had always shown interest in being a teacher. I displayed the qualities for a career in education, however, it wasn’t my first choice,” she explained.

“I worked in Brisbane in marketing and public relations for many years before I moved back to Cairns. I thought the timing was perfect for me to begin my new career.

“I believe that the Masters program most certainly advances us in the eyes of recruiters. We have experienced the world and are passionate to teach a new generation of students.”

Only months into the 18-month course, she received interest from her practicum placement school for a future position.

“The school proactively contacted me again in March of this year and said they would like to offer me a permanent position as a Humanities teacher.

‘This was an amazing feeling, knowing that I was able to secure permanent employment early and during a global pandemic,” Mrs Byars said.

Despite the disruption of the pandemic, both Mrs Byars and Dr Ham believed the passionate teachers were inspired to make a positive impact in the region during the uncertainty of COVID-19.

“It has been a rewarding experience to witness the effect COVID-19 has had on teachers and students, both when they learnt at home and once reunited.”

“I believe that CQU has prepared me for the successes and challenges of teaching which has made the transition into a teaching position easier,” Mrs Byars said.

“For some schools, new teachers allow them to can offer subjects they previously haven’t been able to offer,” Dr Ham explained.

“For other school’s it means they have a graduate that they can train in their school’s culture and systems knowing that that investment makes a difference for the students they are working with.”