The University of Newcastle, Australia

Being able to work with a class of amazing kids each day truly motivates Madalyn in everything she does. It’s because of these students that she decided to return to university to pursue postgraduate study and develop the skills and further experience needed to better support her class.

After studying special education subjects during her Bachelor of Teaching (Primary)/Bachelor of Arts and working with students with additional needs as a casual teacher, Madalyn knew this was the area she wanted to focus on.

So, she enrolled in the Master of Special and Inclusive Education at the University of Newcastle.

“At heart I've always been a Special Education Teacher, I love my job and wouldn't change anything about it. I wanted to be able to go above and beyond for my students, to ensure they could access the curriculum because they deserve nothing less than opportunities.

“The program included everything I wanted and needed to gain a deeper understanding of special education. It also introduced and explored inclusive practices to support mainstream students as well, which I was super excited about.

“I’ve worked at various schools that have had high numbers of students in mainstream settings who’ve had a diagnosis that required additional support. It was great to see a program recognise these students and inclusive practices to support them as well,” Madalyn said.

Maintaining her role in the classroom while completing her postgraduate degree meant that Madalyn needed flexible study options.

“I studied the program full-time and online and thankfully I had a very supportive work environment. I enjoyed the online lectures because I could listen to them after work or on the weekend and I liked being able to pause them to take detailed notes.”

As for how she juggled work, study and life – Madalyn has a few helpful tips for people considering postgraduate study.

“Allow yourself the time and really dedicate it to the workload. There is no point in studying if you’re not going to engage and try your hardest. Be organised and plan ahead. And of course, having a good support network around you makes a huge difference.” Madalyn said.

So how has the Master of Special and Inclusive Education supported Madalyn’s career?

“It's a great degree for those wanting to increase their knowledge for teaching and supporting children in mainstream and support class settings.

“Not only has it added to my recognised qualifications, but the skills I’ve learnt allow me to better provide for my class on a daily basis. Since completing my degree I’ve successfully obtained a full-time position teaching a support class at my school.

“What I’ve learnt has been so significant and relevant to me. I was able to see how much more I could do for the children I teach and how much of a difference I could make to them and their journey,” Madalyn concluded.

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Madalyn Clare_Profile

Madalyn Clare

Madalyn Clare studied a Master of Special & Inclusive Education at the University of Newcastle.

Since completing my degree I’ve successfully obtained a full-time position teaching a support class at my school.