English Learning Area Leader, Anthony Young, has been with Braemar College since 2009. He teaches English and Literature in the senior school with a particular focus on Year 12.
Anthony started teaching straight after finishing university, and has completed a Masters in Literature while working at Braemar College. He also writes for a Literary Journal called ‘The Melbourne Review of Books’. He sometimes pens a column, School Finds, in which he reviews texts he has discovered while teaching.
He says that being a creative person, he finds it challenging to be creative within the constraints of the VCE system, but it is also rewarding when you get it right.
Anthony says that being “an instant expert on almost any social issue, new text, new text type or media” is unique to the role of any English teacher.
According to Anthony, the kids are what separates Braemar College from other schools.
I genuinely enjoy going to my classes. I miss the Year 12s once they go and look forward to hearing from them after they have left here.
I also like driving up the road when it is cloudy and then getting a view over the top of the mist.
Some of the innovations introduced to the school while Anthony has been here include The Scribe – where kids have had the opportunity to publish their own work, and participation in the Melbourne Writer’s Festival Poetry Slam competition, which Braemar College has won twice in the last five years.
When I started teaching, Google and Youtube didn’t exist. The concept of having a laptop of your own, let alone every student having a personal device, was unusual. I remember when I was in Year 12 being allowed, just the once, to drop an essay in the mail box of my English teacher over a holiday break and now I receive emails most weekends, and regularly scan annotated work for students over holiday breaks. Teaching has become a technologically demanding profession with a need to master cloud based sharing and 24/7 communication. I haven’t worked in another school where technology was so ubiquitous.
Anthony runs his whole program from a blog and podcasts many of his lessons so students can review them.
It’s the best way to allow students to have access to the materials they need at the times they need them.
Anthony says there have been many positive experiences in his seven years at Braemar College.
Often in Year 12 Literature I encounter students who are able to do things under a time and workload pressure that I just don’t think I could have done at their age. Watching them manage their way through a very competitive subject and then hearing about the novels they are enjoying reading or the most recent play they have seen at the MTC when I catch up with them after they finish their secondary education tells me that their interest in learning and engagement in culture and the arts has been inspired. I recently bumped into a past student on the train who was super excited about having begun learning Russian and wanted advice on good Russian literature to read so compliment her language study. The enthusiasm was contagious and I went off and bought a few more tomes myself – just not in Russian!
Outside of his school life, Anthony enjoys spending time with his two children, playing the ukulele and adding to his extensive Lego collection. He also likes to relax with a film or a favourite television program.