Jason Toh is a History and Business Management teacher at Melton Secondary College, a year 7 to 12 public school located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. Before becoming a teacher, Jason led a variety of former lives including that of an advertising executive, croupier, white-water rafting guide and a ski instructor.
While focusing his time on his teaching, Jason also coordinates the induction and mentoring of all new staff to Melton. This includes three first year Associates and one second year Associate undertaking the Teach For Australia program at Melton.
“I am constantly amazed at the energy, enthusiasm and dedication that Associates bring to their classrooms,” Jason said when quizzed on why he loves being a TFA school mentor.
Jason meets with each of his Associates separately once a week, and during this time they focus on a specific area that the Associate wishes to address.
In addition to weekly meetings, Jason also conducts classroom observations to provide tailored coaching that can be used to support their growth as a teacher.
“Melton is also working on streamlining the mentoring experience for Associates by coordinating the schedules of TLA, ACU and School Mentor observations as well as the debrief sessions,” Jason added.
While Jason celebrates the good times with the Associates, he is also well aware that the Associates expect immediate results and in most instances this is not possible. “I often find myself having to highlight evidence of the positives they [Associates] have each created in their classes. Celebrating the small wins and building on those are just as crucial for an Associate to build mental fortitude and progress as a teacher,” said Jason.
Jason’s four current Associates – Priyanca Menon, Matt Williamson, Rawnak Hamid and Scott Young – have all come from different backgrounds, however he cannot speak more highly of all four who are excelling in the classroom each through their own teaching style.
Jason is now looking forward to continuing his TFA mentoring role with Melton Secondary College.
“What I love most about being a TFA school mentor is that I have probably learnt more about myself and teaching while mentoring my Associates than they have from me,” Jason said.