Getting to know Brett
Master of Education – Leadership endorsement
What inspired you to pursue your Master of Education?
I’m mainly doing it as a career pathway. I’d like to get into a school management position, so I’ve opted to do the leadership endorsement as well. Having this degree will set me aside from other applicants. It's quite a competitive job market so being able to differentiate yourself really helps.
You’re nearly done – congrats! How do you feel for having taken the plunge?
Stoked! I left school at 15 without doing NCEA or anything like that. Knowing that I could still go on to get a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree on top of that is amazing. It's given me a great sense of achievement.
You’ve done this degree while being a full-time teacher – how has that been?
It’s been busy! But I think this was the time to do it, before having a family myself. I’ve done the whole degree online except for a summer school paper. That’s been helpful because I can work my study around my job and life commitments, rather than having to attend lectures.
What do you love about teaching?
I like seeing people grow and change. Whether I'm working with kids or student teachers, I get a kick out of seeing them grow their confidence. Being able to take my experience and share it with others is a great feeling.
What’s been your favourite part of the degree?
My favorite paper was a summer school paper called ‘understanding emotions’. I was able to use what I learned in that course to help manage teacher and student wellbeing at my school during COVID. The material we learn in the degree correlates really well to what I do in my job, and I can see how it’ll be useful down the track as well.
Have you enjoyed turning the tables and becoming a student again yourself?
It’s been a good challenge. It’s been nice to meet other students too, through the one paper I did on campus. I got to meet a new network of people. We had chats and compared our experiences. We're all here doing the same thing for the same reasons, so hearing their perspectives has been interesting.
Does it feel different being an adult student?
The difference for me has been knowing what I want to do. That's made easier it to choose my papers and put in the effort while working full time. I made the conscious decision to do the degree, so I've been very motivated to get it done.
Mythbusters for people thinking about study as adult students –
is there anything you feared that hasn’t come to pass?
I was a little worried that as a distance student it would be hard to ask questions because you don't have face-to-face contact with the lecturer. But actually, it was easy to just flick off an email. Also, when I started I was a little nervous about the expectations of a masters level degree. But just like anything, you head up the learning curve and the further you get through the program, the easier it becomes.