These Young Teachers Will Inspire The Next Generation [Audio] - 96five Family Radio

These Young Teachers Will Inspire The Next Generation [Audio]

With the shortage of male teachers across the education sector, we spoke to two male education students who hope to inspire the next generation.

By Justin RouillonThursday 5 Mar 2020Guests and ArtistsReading Time: 3 minutes

One of the more sobering statistics around education in Australia is the steady decline of male teachers.

Only around 15 per cent of primary classroom teachers are male; that figure was about 30 percent in 1980.

One positive sign for the future of education was the recent announcement of the PMSA Teacher Education Scholarships for 2020, with three of the four winners being male students.

This year’s scholarship winners were Brisbane Boys’ College 2019 graduates Jack Ryan and Nick Fowles, 2018 BBC graduate Thomas Yarrow and 2019 Clayfield College graduate Lily Andrews.  The scholarships help to foster a respect for the importance of teaching as a profession, as well as to encourage future teachers with Christian beliefs, enabling them to make a difference in the schools the work and serve in.  It will also help to pay some of the costs of their higher education with an allowance of $2000 per year for up four years.

Nick told 96five that today’s low number of male teachers can be linked to what he sees as a stigma surrounding the profession.

“People think that you’re going to be treated badly by students, but that’s not really the case all the time.  You can really make a connection with the kids if you try.”

Thomas also believes that for many boys, the idea of being a teacher can be outstripped by jobs with a wow factor or a higher salary.

“The idea of a job as a miner or a job in medicine often appeals more because of the increased wage, but teachers are some of the most important people around.”

Nick has just started his dual degree in arts and secondary education at the University of Queensland, with Thomas having added a Bachelor of Teaching to his current workload as a second year in the UQ Bachelor of Music program.

Developing the Whole Person

For both young men there are similar themes along their education journeys, of mentorship and care from teachers who went above and beyond for their students.  They both mention that the educators that inspired them to become teachers were those that cared more than just for their student’s grades, they cared about how their students could grow and improve in all walks of their life.

It’s something they both want to instil in their students once they begin their teaching careers.  Seeing the benefits that music can play in young peoples lives, Thomas hopes to inspire his students as a classroom music teacher.

“I hope to be a fantastic role model, someone who caters for everyone with a positive attitude towards learning, I want to be someone they look up to.”

Having grown up in outback Queensland, Nick wants to give back to those communities when he begins working as an English and History teacher.

“Where I grew up there was one male teacher in the school and that was it!  I want to go out there and if I can be one good male teacher that will be fantastic.”

Lily Andrews is one of the scholarship recipients and also has a passion to serve outback communities once her degree is completed.

The former Clayfield College Music Captain is studying early childhood education at the Australian Catholic University, and hopes to work in rural and remote areas as a classroom music teacher.

“Most of the schools in remote regions don’t really have music programs.  If I can help implement music programs that will help to unite students and create community.”

Lily told 96five that she appreciated the recognition of faith within the PMSA scholarship, as her faith and values drive a passion for social justice in education.

“Remote communities are disadvantaged so I want to go and help the communities and make a real difference out there.  Music for me is such a powerful force as it does unite everyone.”

Although she had always known that a teaching career was the path for her, Lily was particularly inspired by the music faculty at Clayfield College.  Having had a similar experience to Nick and Thomas, Lily said it was her music teachers’ interest in the development of the whole person, alongside a passion for music that was so influential for her.

“I hope I inspire my students to become teachers, as well as with those Christian elements of being a good person – I hope to inspire them to be that person.”