Celebrating: 1st Year of Grad School is Over!

When I first shared the news about embarking on a new journey back in graduate school here at the Studio, the thought of doing a two-year Master of Teaching programme seemed daunting. Exciting, too, of course. But, I was definitely apprehensive due to a variety of reasons.


Grad School Work: Year 1 Edition (2009)
My First Classroom: This was where I taught during my first teaching practicum.

Having studied primarily in Asian educational systems, the idea of studying in Australia was something that scared me on different levels. I know that might sound strange to some of you. But, having been raised the way I was, there's definitely a reason for this thought pattern. Plus, the fact that I'm taking on a career change was also a bit scary.

Now, I'm pleased to report that I've officially completed one year of my postgraduate studies. I honestly didn't think I'd get this far. But yes, I'm now halfway through!

Grad School Work: Year 1 Edition (2009)

Here are just some of my random thoughts and memories from my first year back at grad school...

1) It has been quite a hectic year. This probably goes without saying. But yeah, this year, I had to learn to juggle full time studies and teach in a real classroom for the first time, while being a mum to two small children (a new school-aged child and a toddler), doing part-time psychology work and freelance/consulting work, with several different projects. That's why I'm sooo ready to have a break from some of these things!

2) Grad school's been really good for me. No matter how hectic things have been, I must say that my overall experience of studying again has been great. Sure, there were plenty of stressful moments and sleep-deprived days. But, before I started Uni, I was a bundle of nerves. I was suffering from huge losses and major hits to my self-esteem for almost a year. Those who are really close to me would know that I was in a very dark place. For some reason, grad school helped to take away some of those negative things in my life by replacing them with some really positive things. And, I have to say that my confidence level has even gone up.

3) My world has expanded. Not only have I met some really cool and inspiring people, I've been introduced to some really great food for thought. I love watching really good teachers at work. Sure, not all teachers are made equal (but then, you find not-so-great folks in any profession, right?). But, I have to say that those teachers and teachers-in-training who're really passionate, creative, and smart are just fantastic to watch and to talk to. Then, there are the kids. These amazing young people whose world are just opening up. I've been so enthused just by seeing the world through their eyes. No wonder I've been bombarded with a load of ideas lately.

4) Getting to play again. Being a mum to two kids have brought out the child in me again. Learning to become a primary school teacher has taken that "inner child" in to a whole different level. Not only did I get to make cool puppets, toy cars, paper frogs, and playdough echidnas... I've even played tag games, modified sports, movement games, and all sorts of other stuff. And yes, there were drama presentations, dancing, science experiments... all in the name of education. I even find it fun watching fellow "grown-ups" doing all the games and such in class. It's like getting a second chance at relieving some parts of my childhood. In a different way.

5) Teaching is hard work. Anyone who says otherwise don't know what they're talking about. It's a full-on job. And, those who do their job well throughout the year certainly deserve those paid holidays. Those who don't do their jobs properly... Well, I wish there's a way to get them to straighten up or quit. 😉


Grad School Work: Year 1 Edition (2009)
Grad School Activities: Some of my grad school projects and presentations.

I'm sure I've got heaps of other thoughts from my year. But, I think I'll leave it at this for now.

All I know is that I am glad I went back to grad school. I'm happy that I'm working towards my registration as a teacher. I'm pleased with my Uni results so far, and my first practicum report.

It was definitely a good path to bliss for me this year.

But, at the same time, I am also soooo relieved that my first year is over. And, I definitely look forward to finishing next year.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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