BlogCareersHow Working with Art of Smart Helped Gia-Yen Realise Her Passion for Teaching

How Working with Art of Smart Helped Gia-Yen Realise Her Passion for Teaching

Often tutoring is seen as a casual gig you do while at university until you start looking for ‘serious’ degree related work!

But this isn’t actually the case!

Working at AOS is an incredible opportunity to build key skills and experiences so that you can land that graduate job!

Really? Yes, really!

Find out how Gia-Yen landed her dream job with Teach for Australia!

What role did you transition into after working with AOS? What does this role involve?

I transitioned into a Classroom Teacher role, as a Teach for Australia Associate.

I was accepted into the TFA program in the middle of my final year at university (and with AOS), and since then I have moved to Darwin to teach at a low SES middle school in Palmerston (about 20km east of Darwin). I’m a classroom teacher, so I teach Year 7 Maths and Science.

Teaching is hard, and particularly in this environment like my school, I often find myself doing more than teaching – I often have to parent a bit, because sometimes I’m the only adult in their life who can be a positive role model for them.

What prompted you initially to apply to join the AOS team?

I needed a job to support myself financially in my second year of uni. I knew that I wanted to tutor or coach, and I applied to a whole bunch of companies which were hiring, but I found AOS’s unique approach to coaching (as opposed to tutoring for outcomes) most attractive.

I’ve always had a strong belief in every child’s potential to achieve in their own way, and I find that AOS’s philosophy about facilitating all students’ achievement is very close to my own values about education.

What skills have you learned and developed in your time at AOS?

From the perspective of coaching, I learned how to work closely and effectively with young people, I learned how to engage and motivate young people, and I learned how to make the most of my own personality and teaching and learning style to push students to achieve their best.

Needless to say, this opportunity to find and develop my skills in this capacity has been invaluable to me now as a teacher.

In terms of organisation and self-management, I learned how to maximise my time to work with as many students as possible, despite juggling the challenges of public transport and travelling to and fro on foot. I learned how to keep myself organised and manage my time so that I could ensure that I delivered the best support to my students when they needed it most.

In my third year of coaching, I started working with AOS in a slightly different capacity, as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and later as a Regional Team Mentor.

At the time, the SLT and RTM roles did not yet exist, and I was able to work closely with our CEO Rowan Kunz to develop these roles and discover what they needed to look like and what their part was going to be within the company. I learned many skills regarding project management and ideas development along the way.

I also grew in my capacity to lead and work with other coaches, building a strong culture within the Eastern Suburbs coaching team to improve our outcomes for our students, parents, and ultimately for the company.

I also began working with Elizabeth on the AOS Community Blog as a writer, which gave me the opportunity to develop a whole host of skills, including copy writing, communicating with audiences over a blogging platform, many internet/computer/technology-related skills, and even filming and editing to create my own resources for my articles. Through writing for the blog and working with other writers, I discovered how funny I can be in writing (and also how lame my jokes can be when they’re written down and I’m not there to encourage the laughter).

What’s been your favourite / most rewarding experience while being part of the AOS team?

Feeling like I was part of a team of like-minded people who were passionate about changing the way that education is done here in Australia, and levelling the playing field for our least advantaged students. And feeling like my ideas and contributions were valued; there was never a time when I made a suggestion which was denied or rejected without careful consideration by my colleagues.

Also, I was able to discover my passion and my purpose in life: working with young people to enable and facilitate their success!
Burning things in the oven at the WOTSO space was pretty fun too!

How do you feel your work at AOS contributed to you successfully being offered a role with Teach for Australia?

I feel that my work at AOS contributed to my acceptance into the TFA program in two ways: by providing me with opportunities to identify and develop the skills and experience that I needed, and by giving me the chance to discover my passion.

If not for my work with AOS, I highly doubt that I would have realised my passion for education, and even if I had, I would not have had the confidence about my strengths and skills to apply for the program.

How can other coaches make the best use of their time with AOS to develop their skills?

Take every single opportunity that comes your way! AOS is a great place for you to try out different roles in the company and find your passion.

Looking for a job to help you get into your dream career?

We’re looking for world-class tutors and mentors to join our team! 

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a large variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in students homes or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

To find out more and apply to become an Art of Smart coach get in touch today! 

Isabella Hanley loves science. She loves science so much she’s making it her career. While completing her Bachelor of Medical Science she is also a Coach and Digital Content Manager at Art of Smart. She is super passionate about sharing her knowledge on surviving the HSC since completing the HSC herself in 2014. In her downtime she enjoys Netflix binging like a pro, singing in the shower and baking cakes that are almost as tall as she is.

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