Why I said yes to teaching instead of engineering

MELBOURNE, 22 April 2024: Whenever I’m teaching a new formula or theory there’s always one student who asks, “But Mr Nagarkar, how does this apply in the real world?”

It’s one of my favourite questions because I’ve got plenty of answers: there would be no aeroplanes without Newton’s laws of motion, no cruise control in your car without factorising equations, and no scientists or mathematicians without the teachers who came before them.

I’m constantly amazed at how one tiny equation can lead to all these incredible discoveries. It’s like a single domino knocking down a whole row of big, exciting ideas. That’s why I love teaching, too.

Every day I have the chance to steer a student towards their future. Every little thing I do has a real and concrete effect on my students’ lives.

If you’d told a younger version of me that I’d be a teacher, I never would’ve believed you. I was set on following in my family’s footsteps and becoming an engineer. But somewhere during my university studies, I realised I was drawn to help people in other ways.

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I found myself volunteering for leadership activities and tutoring students. I used an alternative pathway to get into teaching, which offered me the chance to complete a Master of Teaching while working in the industry.

After more than eight years as a high school teacher, I can say this job has led to more innovation, impact and progress than I ever expected. Every class is unique, every group of students is unique, and every day with them is a fun problem to solve. I genuinely look forward to sharing the laughter, the logic and the “aha” moments.

I feel like I’ve found my calling in teaching. While I’m still learning about all the things I love, I now have the privilege of sharing that passion with others.

Just like engineers who leave behind structures that withstand the test of time, I’m leaving behind a foundation of knowledge that students can use to build their futures. In both roles, the impact we have is not just measured in numbers but in the people we impact and the lives we help shape.

If you have a passion for a subject and want to share it with the world, it’s worth considering a career in teaching. If you’re anything like me, you might just find there’s more to this profession than meets the eye.

Read more inspiring stories of teachers and their impact at bethatteacher.gov.au

By Ameya Nagarkar

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