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What makes a great teacher?

A man and woman in Melbourne Polytechnic Cookery uniforms holding papers in a commercial kitchen.
A good ear and empathy make for a great teacher

If it wasn’t for our friendly ancestors working out that fire comes from friction and kept that nugget of information to themselves, where would we be today?   

Thankfully good old Homo Erectus went on to teach others how to build a fire. Those folks then went on to teach others and it’s about there we can draw a rudimentary line in the sand and call it the ‘dawn of all things tasty and warm’.

From the moment we open our eyelids at birth, we‘re all learning. It’s not too long after that we all become teachers - from the kid in the playground who wants to show his mate how to tie a shoelace right up to those astrophysicist professors at prestigious universities around the world. We are all learners and teachers.

But what makes some people choose teaching as a vocation? As far as career choices go, those that offer the most satisfaction are ones that assist the greater good of the community. Teaching is sitting right at the top of that list.

The Backbone of Education

Teachers are the backbone of all walks of education and many come into the work with an absolute thirst for imparting knowledge and watching their students grow. We asked some teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic what they find most rewarding in their chosen vocation. AN overarching theme across this profession is that ‘lightbulb moment’.

New Dynamics

Andrew Guglielmino, a Building and Construction teacher always knew he wanted to be a carpenter and has always loved working with his hands and creating. Andrew excelled so much in his career with timber that he wanted to teach others the tricks of his trade.  He says the best part of teaching is that ‘every day is new. Every project is different. Every student and class brings new dynamics. I’m also always learning and building great relationships’.

Those Lightbulb Moments

Commercial Cookery teacher Muriel Cassidy moved to Australia from her native Ireland and has been working in industry for over three decades. She says ‘working so closely with apprentices and work experience students, I realised that I had a personable interaction with them and I thought “ah!” You don’t realise that until you’re doing it, seeing results and think “what do I have to do to be a teacher?". This is what gave me the teaching bug and it ignited my passion again.’

Font of Knowledge

Building Surveying student Courtney Cross says of her teacher and mentor Sam Habib ‘He has so much knowledge, I don’t know how he keeps it all in his head, he can remember an inspection he did three years ago.’ Teacher Sam came to Melbourne Polytechnic as a student himself. He already had a bachelor degree in applied science and diploma of building construction and was working towards the advanced diploma. Teaching just seemed to click for him.

At Melbourne Polytechnic, teachers are embedded in industry and know their craft. Your education leaders will set you off into your chosen career with a rock solid base. From certificates, diplomas and degrees, there is a course suited to you.

Discover Different at Melbourne Polytechnic. Enrol now.