Our Students

Carmelina Calafiore

Carmelina Calafiore always wanted to be a teacher and is grateful to her secondary school Careers Counsellor for suggesting that she apply to study Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Education (Early Years).

“The bonds that we make with our teachers are really important. It’s more personal studying here and I think that’s unique to Melbourne Polytechnic. We all know each other and depend on each other.”

Carmelina soon learned that Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Education (Early Years) provided the perfect fit in order to prepare her for her dream job.

Carmelina always wanted to study teaching and was very fortunate to have a careers counsellor at school who suggested that she might like to consider Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Education (Early Years).

Now in her third year, Carmelina has found that each step towards achieving the four-year qualification offered her another area in which to specialise or seek employment.

“Once I gained my diploma, I was able to complete a crèche placement. Now I work at the same crèche casually, after they offered me work following my placement.”  

Students study the crèche environment before moving onto kindergarten and primary school settings. There are placements in each and the opportunity to establish relationships with prospective employers.

“The course gives you lots of practical work experience with schools and crèches and I’ve been offered jobs from both placements. The placements give you hands-on time with the kids, so that you can practise what you learn in the workplace.”

While Carmelina has enjoyed setting up activities and looking after children in crèche and kindergarten settings, she would most like to become a primary school teacher.

“In the first year of the course, you get to experience all three settings, and the one I liked the most was primary school. The kids are older and you have a little more control because they understand you better.”

Carmelina says she would be happy teaching any age group in primary school, as she’d like to explore the different levels and build her confidence as she gains more experience.

Her confidence has flourished since first enrolling in the course when she knew no one, straight out of her final year of school.

“This course has given me so much confidence. I used to fear talking in front of people and now it’s easy.”

The course is relatively new to Melbourne Polytechnic but is quickly gaining a reputation for producing excellent candidates for the workforce. Carmelina says that she’s seen this first-hand on placement where employers will ask her to stay, knowing that she’s studying a high level qualification.

“We’re the first to graduate from the course, which is pretty special. There are 20 people in my year, but they are taking in new people all the time. People are definitely finding out about the course.”

Placements play an integral role in the course and have been an overall highlight for Carmelina.

“I’ve loved my placements, particularly in childcare because it feels like a family. I don’t want to leave them.”


Bachelor of Education (Early Years)