International student Keiron Wood was destined to become a teacher long before he started university.
“I come from a long line of teaching professionals,” says Keiron, a student at the ACU Brisbane campus at Banyo.
“My grandmother has taught in schools all her life and continues to teach little children at home in her retirement, while my mother’s sister was the principal of a school in India. My father has three sisters who are all teachers.
“It is perhaps inevitable that I would become a teacher too.”
Now in his second year of the ACU Master of Teaching (Secondary), Keiron is putting his teaching aspirations into practice.
His course is characterised by a series of practical placements in which students are placed in local schools for four weeks at a time. They gain hands-on experience in the classroom, learning from more experienced teachers and applying the skills they learn at ACU in a real-world setting.
Keiron’s first placement was at Albany Creek State High School, a short distance from the ACU Brisbane campus. He was assigned to teach students in Year 9 but also had a few opportunities to work with students in years 10 and 12 as well.
The experience was extremely beneficial, not only because it gave him a sense of what life as a teacher would be like but because the placement itself was a good match for his learning style.
“I see myself as a kinaesthetic learner, which means I learn best with hands-on experience. Completing the practical placements was the best thing for me,” he says.
“I learned classroom management and how to build a student-teacher relationship, and I learned that the classroom has diverse learners. This requires me to build my lesson plan around the individual learners so all can be on the learning journey equally.”
These practical placements have been a highlight of Keiron’s Australia, but ACU itself has been another – after attending a university open day in 2019, he became convinced that the Banyo campus was where he needed to study.
And it turned out to be the right choice: ACU’s friendly student community, supportive staff and high-quality courses have been fundamental to his life as an international student.
“The staff are really friendly and are always ready to help. I’ve always received a quick response from my course coordinator and great support with any issues I faced,” he says.
“My favourite thing about ACU is that the campus is really big and amazing. There’s always something happening on campus.”