Stephanie Ludekens thanks her grandad for inspiring her to make a life-changing career change.
“My grandfather was a science teacher. He taught me to question how things work from an early age. He gave me a passion for science,” Stephanie says.
After completing a Bachelor of Science at University of Melbourne and working as a geologist for a mining company, Stephanie decided to follow a lifelong dream to become a teacher.
“Growing up I was fortunate to have a series of excellent role models including two teachers whose passion for the subjects they were teaching pushed me to work hard,” she says.
Stephanie joined Teach For Australia, where she is currently in her second year of studying a Master of Secondary Teaching while working in the profession.
She went from working as a science professional to teaching science to secondary students at Southern River College in Gosnells.
“Science is more than just a collection of facts, it encompasses a broad skill set,” Stephanie says.
“In science, students are encouraged to think critically and creatively, to ask questions and to find answers.
“These are skills that are beneficial no matter what pathway they choose to follow.”
If a drastic career change wasn’t demanding enough, Stephanie let SBS documentary filmmakers follow the highs and lows of her first year in the classroom.
She joins fellow Southern River College associate Sasha Lytas and four other Teach For Australia associates from around the nation in a three part SBS observational documentary series, Testing Teachers.
Stephanie says the experience has been challenging.
“One of the greatest challenges facing students is being able to develop confidence in their own strengths and value,” she says.
“The best part of being involved with Testing Teachers is seeing myself and my students through the eyes of the camera crew and being able to reflect on my progress.
“I hope that viewers in Australia see how awesome my students are. I hope they consider the value of the work that teachers do.”
Part one of Testing Teachers premieres tonight on SBS at 8.30pm.