The look on a student's face when they complete a project is priceless - Dan
NSW Department of Education
teach.NSW interviewed Dan, a Technology and Applied Studies teacher and recipient of the Teacher Education Scholarship.
The video begins with assorted shots of Dan assisting male secondary students with their woodwork. Dan is speaking interview style to the camera, and as he speaks, the picture occasionally changes to show further assorted shots of students doing woodwork projects, making marks on blocks of wood, sawing, smoothing, and hammering. In some shots, Dan is there to assist and encourage their progress.
I can still remember the day, I was at the junior campus where I was doing my prac and I was teaching and had a phone call from the principal saying “Hey look, the scholarship committee had called, can you give them a call back on this number.”
I called them back and they said “look, we've got an appointment for you next year pending that you finish the year,” and end up graduating at the end and that sort of thing, and they told me about the school, they gave me all the details I needed, you know, gave me a time frame to answer by and again, like, the thing was so easy that I didn't really have to think much about it.
For TAS, when you see a student build something and it's not about what they've built but they get a belief they can do something, and I think there's a lot of negativity out there and these days you just need, you know, as many positives as you can, so when I see a student sitting there that goes “I can't do it,” well one, that's a load of baloney and anyone can do it, but giving them that opportunity to achieve and also giving them an environment where they can make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes and go “yeah, you made a mistake, that's fine, what's next?” instead of just giving up so the perfect situation about that is in TAS you're allowed to make mistakes and you will, you cut a timber piece the wrong way you can't fix it, you just have to go again and sometimes you might have tweak your design, but the look on a student’s face when they complete a project, I think is priceless.
Being able to do that for students makes teaching amazing, and you get to grow with the kids and you get challenged by the kids I think in a good way - not that they stand up and challenge against you - but they make you think outside the square, and you get to develop those relationships and really see students grow and, you know, it's never boring, there's never a dull moment in the classroom, but I think I just love being able to turn up to any year and just sit with them with parameters, you know, there's always boundaries the kids can and cannot work with ‘cos that's like, they should be in a society, and then you see them work within those restrictions, and it's just fantastic, I don't think there's much better feeling than that.
You're only here for the students, and throughout the scholarship program that was one thing that I think ringed home, it's not always about, you know, what goes on in the staff room or somewhere else, it's just, what are you here for, you're here for kids to grow and I think that's the main thing that has really helped keep focus and got me where I am today which is good.
I love every day [laughs].
The video ends with a fade out to the teach.NSW logo