Working at a start-up
Classroom Teacher at Narre Warren South P-12 College
Brenden didn’t travel very far for his placement. In fact, he’s teaching at the very secondary school he had attended. “Returning to my old school through TFA has been interesting,” Brendan says. “Maybe awkward for a week or so, but really beautiful. I feel a lot of connection to the community, and a lot of connection to the students who have the same handshakes and a similar kind banter that we used to.”
One of his favourite memories from his first year of teaching takes place in his Year 10 classroom: “We were doing oral presentations, and she was among the last few students to attempt her presentation, and when we got up in front of everyone she was visibly uncomfortable. She didn’t speak, and I saw the tears well in her eyes, and I could imagine the anxiety building up, so I gave her an out and said, ‘Do you want to sit down?’, and she did.
“After class, I arranged for the student to do the presentation in my office. When the time came next week, I reminded her she needed to do her presentation in my office, and she asked if she could it in front of the class instead. When I told the class that she would be presenting that day… everyone sat ramrod straight, giving her as much respect as they could, and when she finished, they gave an enormous round of applause, and it was clear that they were as proud of her as I was. It was a really beautiful ‘team spirit’ moment.”
Brenden has found that the most rewarding part of teaching for him is helping young people directly, and knowing that you’ve made an impact: “Getting the results for the students and seeing them happy or proud of themselves, seeing those moments of growth and achievement – that’s the best part of the program.”