Teach For Australia associate Tim O’Shea engaging his students with a science experiment. Picture: Andrew Williams.

Darling Range Sports College welcomes new teachers

Darling Range Sports College principal Rob Lawson said the associates chosen were outstanding people who don’t shy away from any issue.
December 7, 2023
Andrew Williams

DARLING Range Sports College has welcomed the next round of teaching associates from the not-for-profit organisation Teach For Australia to gain hands-on experience as they prepare to start teaching as part of its national leadership development program.

Over 10 days the new associates practise teaching lessons under the guidance of supervising teachers, before they start in term one next year.

The leadership development program (LDP) is a two-year study-employment pathway program which recruits graduates who are passionate about breaking the cycle of educational inequity and places them into secondary schools nationwide where workforce needs are greatest.

The in-school experience is part of the program’s summer semester, where associates begin their Master of Teaching units and build foundational skills and knowledge before entering the teaching profession.

Darling Range Sports College principal Rob Lawson said the LDP had a rigorous recruiting process and the associates chosen were outstanding people who don’t shy away from any issue a student might bring to school.

Teach For Australia’s programs have reached 530,000+ students across the country by bringing 1450+ additional high-quality professionals to the classroom and helping schools strengthen their leadership pipelines.

LDP associate Laura Bonner has been at Darling Range Sports College for the past year as part of the two-year study-employment pathway.

Ms Bonner said a common issue was that Master of Teaching students were often placed at ‘leafy green’ schools rather than low socio-economic school ones.

“Schools that are not necessarily disadvantaged in any way, shape, or form. So, you don’t get exposed to certain types of behaviour, and it can be a lot more focused towards just academics,” Ms Bonner said.

“Whereas through Teach For Australia, you work at low socio-economic schools, they focus on you building those relationships with those kids, so that you can be a fantastic teacher for those kids and help to inspire them moving forward.”

Ms Bonner has loved her time at Darling Range Sports College and will stay on once she finishes her second year of the LDP.

“The students are fantastic. You can get a bit worried when you hear the words low socio-economic, you can hear things like it may be a dodgy school, or dangerous school. They are the kindest people I have ever met, they are the hardest working, lovely group of kids,” she said.

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