Here’s why you should teach in the Northern Territory.

September 13, 2016 3:32 pm

Three Cohort 2016 Associates, teaching in the Northern Territory, share their experiences so far and tell you why you should preference the NT first.

Fiona McRobie, teaching in Tennant Creek

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I preferenced teaching in the Northern Territory because I’d heard the statistics of educational outcomes and incarceration rates for Indigenous young people, and quite simply wanted to be part of the attempt to change future outcomes for young Indigenous people. This, coupled with a love of the desert and a desire to live somewhere completely new, brought me to Tennant Creek.

I had no expectations coming in – I knew nothing about life in remote Australia or in the NT, so I was careful not to create any prejudgements. But I’ve loved my time here so far – the experience so far has wholly overtaken any expectations I could have had.

Tennant Creek High School is the best placement I could have hoped for. The students are amazing to teach, and the staff are supportive and always trying new things to engage students. There’s a genuine care for students wellbeing, and everyone looks out for one another.

Science teachers should definitely consider preferencing the NT because it’s incredibly fun! The students at Tennant Creek High School are so curious and eager to question the world around them. There’s sometimes a cultural difference such that many students have never been exposed to what we typically think of as “scientific thinking” or the “scientific process” – but at the same time, they bring a wealth of culturally-based, experiential knowledge which enriches the learning experience, and shows how broad the definition of “science” really is.

Mathew Coggan, teaching in Humpty Doo

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Teaching in the Top End has been an amazing experience and something that has truly opened my eyes to the realities of educational disadvantage.

My school lies 40 minutes south of Darwin in a little town called Humpty Doo. Although it’s relatively close to Darwin, some students will travel up to 2 hours to get to school every day and my school has a catchment area that covers around 4000km2.

During my first semester I taught Year 7 and Year 10 Science, and Year 11 Biology. We’ve done some amazing things, including making lava lamps, class excursions and crocodile dissections! I’ve found that students are really excited to be involved in science but sometimes don’t understand how science fits into the real world. Developing this understanding and passion in science is a priority for me.

Hannah Morris, teaching in Darwin

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I chose to be placed in the NT because I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself as much as possible over the two years, and to immerse myself in the Teach For Australia experience by moving somewhere completely new.

The best part of the experience so far has been immersing myself in what the Northern Territory has to offer – culturally, historically and recreationally. I’ve been able to road trip to Kakadu National Park, Broome in Western Australia, Uluru and the Kimberley in the past nine months.

My students are hilarious. Last term I was teaching ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ as part of Year 9 English, and in the last week of last term I split my classes into Hogwarts houses and we did Harry Potter rap battles!

Before I started in the classroom, I’d been told how challenging and rewarding teaching would be, but I didn’t expect it to be this much fun. For the most part, my last nine months have been a really incredible and enjoyable experience of growing and learning together with my students, and I only hope this continues through the rest of my TFA journey.

You can read more about Hannah’s experiences on the Stories from Teach For Australia blog.

Have our NT Associates made you want to join the team?

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