Student behaviour is dramatically improving, leading to impressive academic results, under a Technology teacher who is using his Australian Defence Force (ADF) background to help pupils. Springfield Central State High School (SCSHS) teacher Ben Clarke’s classroom approach has helped reduce behavioural incidents by up to 70 per cent among some students. And 100 per cent of his students in Industrial Graphics, Year 7 Design and Engineering, and Year 11 Industrial Design and Technology achieved a grade of A-C in Term 1 this year. As did all of his senior Indigenous students.
Ben is the first to volunteer for extra-curricular activities in his department and he regularly keeps parents informed of their children’s progress. He has been a guest speaker at senior schooling events in relation to ADF career pathways, volunteers in a transition to high school robotics and engineering program for primary feeder schools, and has started a breakfast initiative for senior students in Industrial Skills. Ben has also volunteered as the lead teacher and mentor for a Subs in Schools foundation team, to help assist high-performing students achieve further. He sought out a mentor to help build effective teaching strategies and he is an active participant in the school’s Professional Learning Community. He is also a member of the Design and Technology Teachers’ Association. SCSHS Head of Department—Technology, Alyce Goodacre, says Ben has drawn on his previous experience in the ADF and industry to provide excellence in teaching and has a strong presence in the classroom. “Ben has previous experience with workshop practices and projects through the defence force, and uses this knowledge to give students real-world learning opportunities,” Alyce says. “His advice in this area has also assisted students to understand the reality of being in the defence force and the rewarding career it can be,” she says. “This has led to students applying to the defence force and reaching the interview stage of the recruitment process.” Congratulations Ben on your nomination.