Graduate-entry teaching: City beat inspires classroom calling

Jan 13, 2014 by

Not so long ago, Chris Hudson patrolled the streets of Melbourne in a police uniform, doing a job that showed him “the best and worst of humanity”.


“Richmond was probably the toughest place to do some time, especially as a young member,” said Mr Hudson, 28. “There’s a lot of drugs. People come at you with needles. You do pat-down searches and worry about getting jabbed in the finger.”


There were heartbreaking domestic callouts, assaults and gruesome road accidents, and it was that unrelenting cycle of crime and punishment that eventually took a toll on the boy from country Geelong.

“I thought about those kids I was bringing into court, and realised my calling in life is to help kids early on, so they don’t get into trouble with the law in the first place,” Mr Hudson said. “I longed for something else.”


He longed to teach, and he is not far from realising that goal. Mr Hudson has just finished his undergraduate degree at Victoria University (with straight high distinctions) and on Monday will be one of 3574 applicants across the state to receive a first-round offer to join a graduate-entry teaching course.


He aims to get a master of teaching (secondary) degree at Federation University in Ballarat, with a view to teaching woodwork, physical education and health, all of which are passions of his. The Bannockburn resident surfs and runs, and cycles up to 300 kilometres every week. He makes furniture in his spare time.


He won’t need his time spent wearing the blue and white to command respect in the classroom, either. Building rapport is his paramount concern.


“That old system and style of ‘I’m the teacher and you’re the student’ – I think that needs to go out the door,” he said. “The kids have got to know they can head to you for guidance and help.


“It’s not about demanding their respect. I’m going to take a different approach,” he added. “I want to be able to create independent, free-thinking students who are capable of rationalising their own actions.”


Dr Amanda McGraw-Pleban, course co-ordinator of the new accelerated master’s program at Federation University, said it was not uncommon for graduate-entry teaching courses to be filled with such “passionate and motivated” career-changers as Mr Hudson.


“They’re ex-engineers, vets, historians; this year we have a dentist coming into the course. They bring work and life experience, and maturity, and they’re really serious about working with students.”

Graduate-entry teaching: City beat inspires classroom calling.

Education News
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