Earlier this year, over one million people tuned in to Testing Teachers to witness the journey of six Teach For Australia Associates in their first years of teaching. As they prepare to complete the Leadership Development Program, we check in to find out how the experience has shaped their career and ask, “where to from here?”.
Through Testing Teachers, Emmanuel was able to share his own journey with his students, helping to develop a stronger sense of community.
“The biggest impact Testing Teachers had for me was the honest and authentic conversations that I was able to have with my students afterwards. They were exposed to the reality of what’s it like to be in the classroom from the teachers’ point of view.”
His passion for education stems from his own lived experience, and the life changing impact that his education afforded him.
“Stories are powerful. I am always open to discussing my own experience and what school was like for me. But, [Testing Teachers] made it easier to talk to the students about my own values, my family and my background.”
In 2018, Emmanuel will continue his work as a full-time teacher at Melton Secondary College in Victoria, teaching Years 8, 9 and 11 maths and science.
“The documentary helped to emphasise some of the convictions that I already held. I feel like I have more to offer.”
“Now that I know where to aim, it’ll be much easier to reach my goals.”
What’s the one thing Emmanuel would change if he could, to help improve the outcomes of his students?
“I’ve thought about this over and over. You’d think it would be easy, but it’s not.”
“For me, the thing that would make the biggest difference, would be to reduce the gap in understanding between teacher and student. As a teacher, you can never have a perfect understanding of what your students are going through.”
This article is part of a series related to the SBS documentary Testing Teachers.