Leadership program guides teachers

ATarpeena resident has been named as a participant in the prestigious Teach For Australia (TFA) Leadership Development Program, taking on a mathematics and science teaching role at Allendale East Area School.

Rob Berlin has joined the program which gives South Australians considering a career in teaching the opportunity to study while making a real impact in the classroom from day one in regional and remote SA communities.

It is the country’s leading employment-study pathway into teaching and aims to fight educational inequity in Australia to make sure any student who wants to learn can get access to world-class teachers.

The TFA Leadership Development Program was already open to South Australians who were willing to relocate to other states, but last year TFA started placing participants in secondary schools in regional and remote areas of SA, as part of a pilot initiative with South Australia’s Department for Education.

Participants gain their Master’s degree and receive coaching and mentoring to accelerate their professional development while teaching in the classroom from day one.

Mr Berlin previously worked as a fly-in fly-out mechanical engineer and, more recently, as a school chaplain and youth worker.

Mr Berlin said he had reached a point in his engineering career where he knew he wanted to do something different, something that positively impacted people’s lives – and he now gets to work together with students to help them grow and become the best versions of themselves.

“Even though undertaking my Master’s degree while teaching has been a big step, the support from my school and TFA network has been invaluable,” he said.

“My school has provided fantastic support and I doubt I could have achieved this on my own.

“The quality of people that make it into TFA’s Leadership Development Program is on another level.

“The camaraderie is brilliant – we each use our strengths to help each other, which is a great lead into how working in a school should be.”

Mr Berlin said his career experience in engineering had helped him in the classroom too.

“The students really enjoy the incorporation of real-life examples into their learning,” he said.

“Of course, they do not hang on my every word every day, but it certainly cuts through the communication lines when you describe something in terms of being used in a workplace.”

Applications for the 2023 intake of the Leadership Development Program are currently open, visit teachforaustralia.org to find out more.

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