Scott Bolton | Cohort 2013 Associate | Hometown: Newcastle NSW
Bachelor of Science (Honours) | Bachelor of Commerce
Research Fellow | Melbourne Graduate School of Education
As Scott Bolton knows, it can take just one teacher to change the course of a child’s life. He’s been both the student who was inspired by a high school English teacher and the teacher who has transformed the educational journey of his students.
During his two years as a Teach For Australia Associate at Glenroy College, Scott oversaw the turnaround of a challenging VCE student.
“On my first day of teaching a Year 11 class, a boy took issue with me, swore at me and stormed out of the class. Two years later, he graduated and received an award as the most improved student in the class.
“On his last day he came up and hugged me, thanking me for being there for him. For me, the great part was seeing him take ownership over his learning and beginning to choose his own path in life.”
Scott made a decision to delay the dream of a medical career for an opportunity to teach in a disadvantaged school in Melbourne.
“As much as I wanted to go through into healthcare and “fix” the situation, I knew that there was a bigger, more systemic problem,” Scott says. “That was to do with education and how we can educate people about the choices that they make.”
Scott’s transition to teaching was immediately successful on both personal and professional levels. He was elevated to the Head of Science position in his second year with Teach For Australia and opted to stay in this position after the two year program. During this time, Scott also completed his Master’s degree thesis under the supervision of John Hattie, Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at The University of Melbourne, in which he aimed to link neuroscience and education.
“Through teaching, you learn as much as you teach others and Teach For Australia is probably one of the most amazing ways to spend two years of your life,” he says.
“Over the last three years, I’ve learnt how to lead a team of people, some of whom are more experienced than I am, by tapping into a passion that all of us share and making the most of their skills and their positive attributes.”
Scott says that his time as a teacher has also taught him other life skills such as resilience, empathy and how to juggle – figuratively and literally.
“I had to learn how to juggle multiple tasks, multiple competing ideas and demands at the same time,” he says.
“And I had to literally learn how to juggle as part of a team building activity with my students. I had to learn how to do it first in order to teach them.”