Engineer turned teacher

With a double degree in arts and engineering, a love of maths and computers, and a passion for philosophy, Ivan Carlisle is a man of many talents.

After five years as an Engineer, Ivan Carlisle found himself yearning for a career that would be both personally fulfilling and make a positive contribution to society, so in 2010 he enrolled in the Master of Teaching (Secondary).

“As an engineer I consulted on sustainability matters to try to align my career with my values, but I felt I was making things less bad rather than good,” he said.

“So I decided to look at the big picture and soon realised that to have the most impact I needed to be involved in education.”

After graduating, Ivan started at Melbourne Girls Grammar where he teaches mathematics, philosophy and algorithmics. A strong advocate for ongoing learning, he then went on to gain his Master of Education Policy (International).

“The Master of Teaching taught me the importance of being continually immersed in research to inform one’s teaching practice,” he said.

“The clinical teaching model resonated with me both as an engineer, with its systematic approach to teaching and learning, and as an educator by focusing on the needs of each individual.”

A genuine all-rounder, Ivan feels that he has finally found a career that not only challenges him, but meets his desire to make a difference.

“A school is a microcosm of society and being a teacher means more than being confined to a classroom,” he said.

“At Melbourne Girls Grammar I have enjoyed a myriad of experiences, including going on a Science and Enterprise Tour to the US with fifty middle years students, teaching maths from years 5 to 12 and the role of Acting Head of Mathematics.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to immerse myself in curriculum development, travel through Botswana, Namibia and Zambia for a month with senior students, and work towards establishing philosophy and algorithmics as academic pathways in the school, which seek to inspire students to consider a range of different careers.

“Teaching is a deeply rewarding profession, and it is a true vocation - which means you have to give generously of yourself. I feel very lucky.”