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Alumni

Meet a Teacher: Who is Dan Crane?

Three minutes
Teach For Australia Friday, January 8th, 2021

A little bit about Dan

Cohort 2015

Life Before Teach for Australia

Winemaker

Teaching Areas

Science and Humanities

Current Employment

Classroom Teacher and Inclusion Coordinator at Sunbury Downs College

View transcript

My name’s Dan Crane.
I’m a teacher out at Sunbury Downs College in Sunbury.
I teach humanities and science.
I’m TFA cohort six and we started in 2015.
So before I joined Teach For Australia I was a winemaker
so I was 25 years in the wine industry.
I loved every minute of being a winemaker,
but after 25 years in the industry,
perhaps I’d done as much
as I thought I could really achieve.
I was really, really proud of what I’d done.
As an older person with a family with a lot of commitments,
the Teach For Australia program
really made a lot of sense for me.
To be able to get straight into teaching was daunting,
but really exciting also.
To not have to stop work
and take a couple of years out at university
was important and it was definitely one of the things
that made the program viable for me as an older person.
The most challenging aspect of the program,
look, it’s tough.
Those first two years are really hard.
There’s a tremendous amount of work to do
and for any teacher the first two years in the classroom
are really intense.
So the emotional and time load
that there was over those two years
was perhaps the biggest challenge.
Of all the skills that I learned in the program,
I think the most important one that I’ve developed
has been empathy.
Every day you’re at school,
every day is a whole new set of lessons
learning about how young people think,
what they need and how you can help them.
The most rewarding thing, I mean everybody says this,
but it’s the interaction with the kids.
They, every day they make you laugh.
They’re exasperating, but every day is a new day
and every day you learn something new from them.

Dan spent twenty-five years in the wine industry and he loved every minute of it.

“After twenty-five years, perhaps I’d done as much as I could really achieve. I was really proud of what I’d done. As a family, we were looking for a change and were keen to move to Melbourne. Our kids were in their mid-teens and were beginning to get a little hemmed-in by country life. I was expecting to pick up a winemaker role somewhere in the Yarra, but TFA came knocking instead. In my late forties, with perhaps twenty years of work ahead, the prospect of doing something really valuable with that time was an easy choice.”

“It sounds trite, but I genuinely wanted to give back,” Dan says. “I have been blessed with fantastic opportunities as a result of having had a combination of a fantastic education and a supportive home life that put great value on education. Some situations in my previous work brought me into contact with young people who had none of those advantages and whose life choices were being constrained as a result. I heard about TFA and its mission, and I applied.”

“It would be disingenuous to gloss over the financial benefits of the program when compared to other pathways.”

For Dan, Teach For Australia offered a viable way to start a teaching career.

“As an older person with a family, with a lot of commitments, the Teach For Australia program really made a lot of sense for me. To be able to get straight into teaching was daunting, but really exciting also. Look it’s tough. Those first two years are really hard. There’s a tremendous amount of work to do. For any teacher, the first two years in the classroom are really intense. The emotional and time load that there was over those two years was perhaps the biggest challenge.”

“The most rewarding thing – I mean, everybody says this – but it’s the interaction with the kids. Every day they make you laugh…every day is a new day and every day you learn something new from them.”

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