Are you motivated to tackle educational disadvantage and want to develop your leadership skills in a career with challenge and purpose? Applications for Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program are still open until August 23.
It’s no secret that the lower the level of education a child obtains, the further their opportunities in life can diminish. Throw a global pandemic into the mix, and the gap in education equity becomes more apparent than ever.
A new report by The Grattan Institute has found that despite the enormous efforts made by teachers and schools during the remote learning period, the achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students widens at triple the rate in remote schooling compared to regular class.
Teach For Australia’s recruitment for Cohort 2021 of our Leadership Development Program has been operating virtually during this unprecedented time, with the knowledge that our mission to break the cycle of educational inequity in Australia has never been more critical.
“We’ve noticed that the COVID-climate has attracted applicants who are driven by our mission to level the playing field for young people across Australia,” said Jen Williams, Recruitment and Admissions Director at Teach For Australia.
Associates in Teach For Australia’s award-winning Leadership Development Program, teach subject areas directly related to their previous studies – and become part of a dedicated community committed to tackling educational inequity.
Benjamin Webb, an incoming associate from Mission Beach was inspired to join the program after learning TFA’s mission to tackle educational inequity in Australia.
“The TFA mission means breaking down the barriers to be able to provide a quality education to all students, regardless of their background. It means putting motivated individuals into positions where they can become actors in creating solutions both big and small. This is important to the school communities we serve because educational disadvantage is not a simple issue and there is no single solution. TFA is creating a network of people who want to address this, and helping develop the tools to do so.”
Benjamin is especially excited to bring his passion for Maths to the classroom. “I have a background in Engineering, so Maths will be one of my main teaching areas. I believe that giving students a solid foundation in Mathematics is just as important as ever, if not more so. We are bombarded by data and figures on the news, in social media and when planning our daily lives. Being able to make sense of this and use it to our advantage is a great skill to have.”
Another incoming associate, Matthew White from Melbourne, came across Teach For Australia through our School Taster Experience, which he had applied for mostly out of curiosity. “After seeing the hard work of associates at Horsham College, I had definitely curbed some of my idealism,” he said. “But more importantly it made me excited for the challenge that teaching in a regional community presented, and I knew it would be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take part in the program. Teaching Maths also presents its own challenges – I am excited to try and do justice to this much-maligned ‘boring’ discipline!”
Matthew is also excited about how TFA’s mission creates the potential for new possibilities. “As I came towards the end of my Science degree, I didn’t feel drawn to any of the pathways I told myself I was limited to – and I think that likewise, there are many kids out there who only see a certain future for themselves. For a lot of students, a lot of possibilities can seem out of reach, and I think it’s TFA’s role to confront that assumption, and to provide the chance for new narratives, and new opportunities.”
Applications are still open for certain subject areas, with the focus on meeting the demand for applicants like Benjamin and Matthew specialising in maths or physics – subject areas that are highly sought after in many schools in low socioeconomic communities.
“Now, more than ever, we need to work together to close the educational equity gap so that students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools have the same opportunities as the rest. As we welcome our incoming associates of the Leadership Development Program, it’s with the knowledge that they’re joining a strong, supportive community dedicated to a lifetime of action against education inequity” said Teach For Australia’s CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear.