As we approach Graduation 2013 on April 13th, we look at life after BTI. This interview highlights Dan Clarke, who graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) from BTI in 2011.
After finishing school Dan gained a Sport and Exercise degree and worked in the health and fitness sector for around 12 years, managing health clubs and teaching fitness in a range of settings.
In one of those life-interrupting moments, Dan was made redundant in 2009. Finding himself in circumstances beyond his control was the catalyst for a time of soul searching and praying about where he should next direct his focus and energy. “I always knew that I was drawn to teaching in some form,” explains Dan. “Through my experiences in the health and fitness industry I taught a lot, whether it was management, group fitness instruction or one on one training and I decided to give secondary teaching a go.”
Dan was accepted into BTI’s Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) and began with a two week intensive in Feb 2010. “The training at BTI exceeded my expectations,”says Dan. “I’ve learnt a lot, the material has been excellent. I found within the first week that it was definitely where God wanted me to be. The biblical focus that was part of the whole learning environment was huge for me - it just brought fullness and that spiritual dimension which I think is one of the most important components to teaching.
Dan loves his role as a full-time Physical Education (PE) secondary teacher at Bethlehem College. Andy Bartrum (Bethlehem College PE Teacher) selected Dan for the position based on his previous experience with him and his natural fit with Bethlehem College. “During Dan’s last practicum he really looked like he belonged here and was part of the furniture. His honesty, integrity and willingness to put God first and go along for the ride made it an easy choice. You can see the shine on a good BTI graduate and by choosing one of them we are ensuring the values and beliefs that the school adheres to are coming through in our new teachers.”
Dan enjoys seeing the lights of understanding go on for his students, and the challenge of finding things that they are passionate about to motivate their learning in other areas.
Perhaps what motivates him more than anything else is the opportunity to influence the young men under his
tutelage. Dan explains, “I am quite passionate about providing an environment or an atmosphere where I can inspire and motivate them to make wise decisions; give them tools that they can take away and hopefully make choices that will ensure they won’t waste any unnecessary time. They can make a decision, which can change the trajectory of their path so I am quite motivated and passionate about ensuring that they are at least informed. Then they can go from a place where they are aware of the impact their decisions will have on their life later on.”