experts learn to be teachers

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Teach for Australia graduates Dirk Stickland and Charles Bradshaw with program mentor Gerhard Van Dyk.
Camera IconTeach for Australia graduates Dirk Stickland and Charles Bradshaw with program mentor Gerhard Van Dyk. Credit: North West Telegraph, Sam Jones.

Not all teachers take the same path to the classroom, as was the case with two at Hedland Senior High School.

Charles Bradshaw and Dirk Stickland began working at the school two years ago as part of the Teach For Australia Program. The two-year program allows participants to work full-time as a teacher while also studying a Masters in Education.

As part of the course, they were given intensive training before being sent to schools.

HSHS teacher and TFA mentor Gerhard Van Dyk said the program created opportunities for leadership development for people experienced in other fields and wanting to become teachers.

“It has always been my belief that an educator who has experience in other fields of society is much better suited for a complete package as a role model and leader in the classroom,” he said.

Mr Bradshaw, who comes from a genetics background, said the program was a lateral pathway into teaching.

“It’s a bit challenging but I’m really happy to have gone straight to learning how to manage students, rather than doing two years of learning and then figuring it out,” he said.

Mr Stickland, who came from Victoria with a background in psychology, said he taught Year 11 psychology last year and saw the students graduate recently.

“It was really rewarding and you get to see the positive impact on the students and the effect you hope you can have on the rest of their lives,” he said.

Mr Bradshaw will continue to teach at the high school next year, while Mr Stickland will move back to Victoria and continue teaching.

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