Youth work in the education system

In the early days of my career I had the privileged of being a youth worker that went into our local high school. I was employed by my local church as a schools worker and spent much of my time running lunchtime programs. I spent much of my time building relationships with teachers, support staff and principals. I was in a lucky position. Many of my friends across the world had many more restrictions placed on them when working with and in schools.

One of the subjects in my Bachelor Degree was youth work and the schooling system in the course I learnt a lot about the way education has been framed through history and how it is placed in the current context. I also learnt that to be effective in the system that sometimes you had to work around the system. Honestly, it was one of my least favoured subjects. It really did not teach me how to work in the schooling system.

As youth workers we are guests in the education system. We are seen as providers of non-formal education… life skills and the like. When young people come to us they are not getting a qualification or an understanding of the three R’s (does that mean teachers can’t spell???). Instead we look after the other stuff. We develop the personal.

It is a sacred spot to work in the education system and we must honour the opportunity. The only way it can work is if the relationships are solid.

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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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  1. Pingback: Corruption in education is hurting young people - Ultimate Youth Worker

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