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Simon ready to Learn

Long removed from the sunny villas of Spain, Portland Secondary College’s newest Teach for Australia (TFA) associate Simon Jones is hoping to learn as much as he can from the region’s largest educational institution.Part of the newest cohort for TFA, Mr Jones will call Portland home for the next two years as he immerses himself in the school and community.The Melbourne University alumni completed his Bachelor of Arts, with honours in Indonesian studies, spent a number of years overseas before he landed in Portland. Under TFA he will complete a Masters of Education over the next two years while at PSC."I went off and lived in Europe for six years, teaching in a university program in Spain for five years," Mr Jones said."I then spent a year in South America before coming back to complete my Masters in International studies at Monash University."While overseas, a newspaper clipping from back home sparked his interest in TFA."When I was first living overseas, my mum saw an article in the paper and sent it across, so I was aware of TFA for ages."I think when I went along to a grad expo day and had a chat with a few people there I was really impressed by their passion."The more time I spent with them, the more I became impressed with them as an organisation."With a combination of English and Indonesian classes across several year levels, Mr Jones has set himself a number of goals as he takes on his new vocation."At this stage I really want to get a real sense of what the school is about and the particular needs of my students."I want to make sure I can support them in the best way possible."In Indonesian, I want them to get enthusiastic about the language from day one, and showing them that it is relevant for them and can be fun."Fortunately for Mr Jones, a fellow TFA associate, Tom Cain, remains at the school and is able to mentor the young teacher as much as he can."Tom has been fantastic so far," Mr Jones said."Having Tom’s perspective of having been through the program is great."His experience of the challenges of going through study and working at the same has been fantastic."During his induction, Mr Jones was even able to call upon the experiences of previous associates, Adam Ross and Chris Weinberg too.Since arriving just weeks ago, Mr Jones has had a self-described whirlwind tour of the region, taking in as many cafes and beaches as he can."I want to make sure that I am on top of balancing all aspects of my life - the work, study and physical exercise."I love walking; I’m looking forward to finding a weekend where I can check out part of the Great South West Walk."Everyone has raved about it so I’m really looking forward to that."

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.

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