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Facing the fear of returning to study

Swinburne Online student, Skie Peterson, had fears she was ‘too old’ and ‘not smart enough’ for university, but a passion for teaching drove her to enrol in online study to reach her goals.

‘Facing my fear and being brave has enabled me to be successful in online learning. I was afraid that I wasn’t smart enough to be a university student, along with ‘I’m too old’ and a whole range of other insecurities,’ Skie says.

‘These fears are consistent and real but I am choosing to work towards disproving them.’

The 35 year-old Ocean Grove, Victoria resident is studying a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and works part-time as an integration aide in a prep classroom, while also looking after her three children.

‘Recently, as I was thinking about when my children grow up and leave home, I was suddenly overcome with this need to prepare myself, so that when they eventually do, I have my own life, and teaching is really all I have ever wanted to do in respect to career options,’ she says.

Skie says her experiences with online study have been positive as it allows it to fit in easily with her work, children and busy household.

‘I am quite committed to being around for my children as much as I can, so studying online has afforded me that privilege whilst increasing qualifications and preparing me for taking on a heavier work load in the future.’

Routine, commitment and an inquisitive nature have all contributed to Skie’s success as she has worked towards her degree. She says online study challenges her to think differently whilst learning amongst peers.

‘I have enjoyed collaborating with cool, diverse people from all over Australia, taking time to read their thoughts and ideas and contribute to the discussions.

‘The course material has truly been engaging and inspiring and enjoyable. I feel that I have gained a great deal of understanding as well as a clearer picture of what type of teacher I hope to be.’

When she finishes, Skie hopes to use her teaching qualifications doing what she loves, helping children in those early school years excel.

‘On completing my studies I hope to inspire and be inspired towards a life of learning by little people, and to be part of fostering a sense of community and hope amongst children and their families during their early years.

‘Children, families, community have always been my thing. I have been drawn to this type of career for as long as I can remember. It’s who I am,’ Skie says.