Banker and
resilient teacher:
Ying's story

Ying Qin

Cohort 2016

Degree
Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Melbourne

Teaching areas
Maths, Business Management

Current employment
Teacher at Fairhills High School

Following graduation from university, Ying worked as a banker for five years, working in operations as well as business banking in both credit risk and sales roles. She was happy with her role, but she wasn’t entirely satisfied. In the back of her mind, she’d always had dreams of becoming a teacher.

“I had told myself that I could always change careers if I still wanted to become a teacher,” she recalls from her time entering the banking world. “After five years, I decided that it was time.”

She had heard about Teach For Australia back when she was at university. The Leadership Development Program not only offered her a unique pathway into the profession, but the mission of the organisation also aligned with her own convictions. Ying could change careers and work while she studied.

“Apart from the benefits of being able to change careers straight away without completely giving up a source of income, the vision of the program really resonated with me. I am from a low socio-economic migrant family background and truly believe that we need to narrow the gap in education,” she says. “I believe that education is the only effective method for creating long-term change.”

“The program allowed me to work and study at the same time, as well as becoming a teacher much more quickly than the other pathways.” The program’s development, coaching, support and opportunities for progression also allowed her to develop as an effective teacher, and do what she loved.

This year, Ying is continuing on to her third year teaching at the same school she was placed at, Fairhills High School, located less than an hour east of Melbourne.

Reflecting on her time during the program, Ying surprises herself by saying that the most valuable skill she developed was resilience. “I considered myself fairly resilient prior to the commencement of the program. However, this resilience was tested and made stronger by the onslaught of emotionally exhausting exercises in behaviour management, hours of lesson planning and marking, together with studying for a Masters degree and managing exercise and a social life on top of it.”

She knows, though, that these challenges only make her stronger. “It puts me in good stead for the coming years as a teacher, especially as I take on more classes and responsibilities. As my personal mentor once told me, ‘teaching gets easier every year, but it never becomes easy.’”

“I plan on teaching until I retire,” Ying says. “The most rewarding aspect is getting to know my students. They’re the reason that I went into teaching and are the reason that I enjoy my work so much. Moments like when a shy and introverted student asks me for advice on how to talk to girls, or seeing a student develop confidence in their Maths skills, are ones that I cherish and continue to look forward to.”

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