Ben Christensen completed a double degree in a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), and a Bachelor of Technology (Aerospace) at Monash University. With so many opportunities at his doorstep, Ben chose a challenging, unique and adventurous career alternative with Teach for Australia. Ben always enjoyed teaching, particularly during his time as a maths and engineering tutor throughout his tertiary years, which he found to be rewarding and challenging. After completing his degree Ben decided to test his interest in teaching by joining Teach for Australia where he found a way to combine his engineering degree with his passion for teaching.
Teach for Australia is a not – for – profit, charitable organisation that aims to improve the educational experience for students in areas of educational disadvantage within Australia. Ben is now part of the Teach for Australia Associate Program which is a two year graduate program in which graduates are given the opportunity to teach at a disadvantaged school in Australia. The program is dedicated to addressing educational disadvantage around Australia, at the same time giving graduates the opportunity to learn and adapt new skills and contribute to a rewarding and worthy program.
“I had numerous reasons for joining the program but all of them fit within two areas. Firstly, teaching was something that had always interested me. During year twelve I always enjoyed helping friends with their work and as I moved into tertiary studies I enjoyed tutoring mathematics. I was also fortunate towards the end of my degree to tutor several first year engineering subjects, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Considering all this, Teach for Australia gave me the opportunity to test this interest without having to delay my entry into the workforce with further study”, says Ben.
Ben also gives merit to the uniqueness of the Teach for Australia program, saying that “I felt that even if teaching turned out not to be the career for me the skills that I would develop through the program would be extremely beneficial in any job that I might pursue after the program”.
Ben is currently working as a secondary school teacher in regional Victoria where he teaches a range of different year levels including Year 7, 10 and 12. Ben says “Each year comes with different rewards and challenges. For the year twelves it is rewarding to help students with all the small steps that will hopefully lead them towards their chosen pathway after school. For juniors, the content is much easier but the challenge comes in conveying concepts that you can take for granted. In this case delivery needs to be clear, succinct, highly organised”.
Ben describes his typical day as being “driven to prepare and deliver innovative lessons that will engage students in Maths and Science and hopefully inspire them to be all that they can be”.
For students interested in the program, Ben offers this advice, “teaching is an art not a science and this makes it a challenging profession. As I mentioned earlier great teachers have an overwhelming array of skills that are developed over time through practice and hard work. Be aware that the two years is challenging, not just because of the vast skill set that needs to be developed but also the school context in which you will be placed. The rewards far outweigh the challenges.”
For further information on Teach for Australia graduate program, please visit: www.teachforaustralia.org
“Be aware that the two years is challenging, not just because of the vast skill set that needs to be developed but also the school context in which you will be placed. The rewards far outweigh the challenges.”