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Dan, Cohort 2015

Dan Crane

Cohort 2015

Life before Teach For Australia

Winemaker

Teaching Areas

Science and Humanities

Current Employment

Classroom Teacher and Inclusion Coordinator at Sunbury Downs College


Dan spent twenty-five years in the wine industry – and he loved every minute of it. “But after twenty-five years, perhaps I’d done as much as I could really achieve. I was really proud of what I’d done. As a family, we were looking for a change and were keen to move to Melbourne. Our kids were in their mid-teens and were beginning to get a little hemmed-in by country life. I was expecting to pick up a winemaker role somewhere in the Yarra, but TFA came knocking instead. In my late forties, with perhaps twenty years of work ahead, the prospect of doing something really valuable with that time was an easy choice.”

“It sounds trite, but I genuinely wanted to give back,” Dan says. “I have been blessed with fantastic opportunities as a result of having had a combination of a fantastic education and a supportive home life that put great value on education. Some situations in my previous work brought me into contact with young people who had none of those advantages and whose life choices were being constrained as a result. I heard about TFA and its mission, and I applied.”

At the same time, “It would be disingenuous to gloss over the financial benefits of the program when compared to other pathways.” For Dan, Teach For Australia offered a viable way to start a teaching career. “As an older person with a family, with a lot of commitments, the Teach For Australia program really made a lot of sense for me. To be able to get straight into teaching was daunting, but really exciting also. Look it’s tough. Those first two years are really hard. There’s a tremendous amount of work to do. For any teacher, the first two years in the classroom are really intense. The emotional and time load that there was over those two years was perhaps the biggest challenge.”

“The most rewarding thing – I mean, everybody says this – but it’s the interaction with the kids. Every day they make you laugh, they’re exasperating, but every day is a new day and every day you learn something new from them.”