Belinda Crowe (Cohort 2010) is an Alumna from Teach For Australia’s very first cohort. Belinda started her journey with Teach For Australia in Victoria in 2010 and has since held a number of titles and roles. She now finds herself back in the classroom, teaching at Taminmin College in Darwin:
When I started looking at graduate positions in fields that were relevant to my background in communications and commerce, I just didn’t find that I was particularly drawn to them. At some point it dawned on me that I wasn’t finding that sense of purpose and meaning that I was looking for – I really wanted to care about my work.
Joining TFA was the best decision I’ve ever made – I formed incredible and supportive friendships through Teach For Australia, that were invaluable sources of care, pep-talks, passion, big ideas, support, wisdom and a shared sense of “oh my god what have we got ourselves in for”.
After the program I was lucky to take up an AVID assignment in Vanuatu working to support the Ministry of Education in implementing a new national curriculum and teacher training program. I worked there for over a year, and it gave me a wonderful perspective on working in education in development. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
After four years working in education outside of the classroom, I started to really miss working directly with young people.
Teaching is such a remarkably challenging role. Being part of Teach For Australia compliments the chalk-face experience with connections, discussions and learning that allows you to consider the big picture implications of educational disadvantage.
In my own education, I had many wonderful teachers. My year 12 English teacher in particular – Ms Wright – was very special. Somehow, she managed to be completely delightful, gentle, patient and consistent with everyone.
I will always remember the day that she read aloud a creative writing piece of mine to the class, and praised it, and I just glowed with pride and felt like a budding Shakespeare. As a teacher, I recognise now that that feeling didn’t just occur in isolation – Ms Wright created a classroom culture and relationships that celebrated success, and valued sharing and feedback. That’s a really hard thing to do, and it’s something that I am constantly aspiring to create in my own classroom.
I love that teaching matters, every single day. I can’t imagine another job that I would care so deeply about – I care so much about the young people that I teach, and every single day I am challenged to do the best that I can to support them in their learning and aspirations.