Testing Teachers is a three-part observational documentary that will take viewers behind the school gate to reveal the struggles and success Australian teachers face in the schools of Australia's most challenging classrooms. The series follows six teachers, each with their own individual stories and reasons for becoming a teacher.
A former Rwandan refugee, Emmanuel grew up in camps in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe before arriving in Australia at the age of 19. One of five children, his family settled in Tasmania. With minimal formal education prior to his arrival in Australia, Emmanuel excelled at school completing year 12 with an ATAR over 97 in his chosen subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, ESL, Mathematics Methods and Mathematics Specialists.
Emmanuel has a double degree from Monash University - a Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics) and Bachelor of Commerce (Actuarial Studies).
Having ranked in the top 2% of the country in her Year 12 certificate, Kitty went on to complete a double degree at Monash University - a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in hydrogeology and climate change. Working as a consultant hydrogeologist prior to becoming a Teach For Australia Associate, Kitty flew-in-flew-out to a number of mine sites around Australia, working with teams on water management including conservation, supply, dewatering and groundwater monitoring.
After a few years Kitty traveled to New York on a sabbatical of sorts, and became involved with an education technology start-up called Library For All- working to build digital libraries for the developing world. Now married and the mother of a 2-year-old toddler, Kitty will use her professional experience as a hydro geologist to teach science … whilst also getting to teach her passion… drama.
Growing up in regional Tasmania, the career of education runs in the family as Will’s mother is also a teacher.
With a passion for seeking outcomes through education, before commencing university, Will returned to his alma mata - Ulverstone High School in Tasmania - as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Special Needs unit, helping students with Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s and illiteracy. He also worked in Senegal assisting street kids and their well-being and Morocco where he worked in a special needs school. During his university studies, Will interned for the former Federal Minister for Education researching pathways for students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and traveled to South Africa where he worked in a Human Rights office co-designing and delivering a program in a juvenile justice centre. Will graduated in 2013 with first class honours.
Born in Southampton in the UK, Fiona grew up in the English countryside and went to a school in a little village outside of Cambridge. A graduate of Oxford University in Mathematics, Fiona also gained a masters in Hydrology and Water Resources Management from Imperial College London.
Fiona moved to Australia in 2012 and prior to becoming a Teach For Australia Associate she was a PhD student, researching climate science (paleoclimate) at the University of Western Australia.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Stephanie went to a private school and ranked in the top 7% of school leavers. Her grandfather was a science teacher and inspired her love of science.
With a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Melbourne, prior to joining Teach For Australia Stephanie worked as a geologist on remote exploration projects as well as a FIFO in an underground mine.
With a double degree in Arts/Law from Monash University, Sasha was born in NSW and grew up in Ballarat, Victoria - raised by her father in a low-income household.
She was one of a handful from her high school to get an ATAR over 90 and go on to a G8 university. Sasha has volunteered at a youth prison teaching young offenders about the law.
Testing Teachers premieres Wednesday, 19 April at 8.30pm on SBS and will be available after broadcast, streaming anytime on SBS On Demand.