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Meet our staff – Emily Brookes

By Emily Underwood Home, News, Senior 21/05/2021

Torrens Valley Christian School are blessed with amazing staff and leadership who passionately serve the students God entrusts to the School.

One of those bold and courageous staff members is Emily Brookes who started at TVCS in 2014 and has currently stepped into the role of Secondary Deputy Principal and Director of Teaching and Learning.

HERE IS EMILY’S STORY…

What year did you commence TVCS and what was your background prior?

I started my teaching vocation in the country as a Middle School Science and Maths teacher. After 13 years, we moved to Adelaide where I taught at two other Christian Schools prior to starting at TVCS. I started teaching here the same year my eldest daughter started coming in Year 7.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a teacher. I have always wanted to teach Middle School and more recently Senior School. I had some great teachers in Primary and Secondary school that were incredible examples and mentors.

I have a love of learning and have a deep desire to journey with young people in their own learning journeys.

Teaching is a privilege and responsibility that I pray I continue to honour. I genuinely love it!

I have just started my Master of Education (Leadership) through the National Institute for Christian Education, which is already inspiring me, equipping me, and grounding me through rich learning in Christian Education and leadership.

What do you appreciate and love about the community of TVCS?

That’s just it, the community. I’m fortunate to have also had our own two kids be a part of this school community and have witnessed them empowered, nurtured, and encouraged throughout their schooling. They have been championed by some very special teachers and support staff who have played a pivotal role in them developing and utilising their gifts that we see them using to serve others and contributing to something more than themselves. I love our students and appreciate our dedicated and hard-working staff. I also love the connections we have with our supportive parents and caregivers. I love that students across the ages know and look out for one another. I love that we are part of the Christian Educational National network of schools who promote a transformational Christian worldview. TVCS is a special place!


What significant challenge have you encountered as a teacher, and how did your faith help you overcome this?

The most recent challenge was the sudden pivot in the way in which we did school with School at Home last year. Although South Australia did not have to sustain it for a long time, initially we had to prepare as if we would be. There was a lot of immediate responsibility and pressure as the Director of Teaching and Learning to ensure that we were prepared as a school for remote learning. I experienced an overwhelming sense of God sustaining me and equipping me to step up and step out.

During that time, church was obviously also having to rapidly adjust to being online. That first week was weird! Good weird though. As we watched online and the service began we saw familiar faces, our church family, our community who led us in worship. We instantly felt enveloped in the Father’s love and favour. It was a bittersweet time. Together yet apart.

Around this time, I was pondering life with a full household in isolation and the probability of working from home. With extended family also living with us at that time, our household comprised of three teachers, one prep and one primary-aged kid, one high schooler and one tertiary student aka au pair. I was running out of places to set us all up. With online learning trials, leading intensive Professional Learning for teachers to prepare for remote learning and writing a School at Home model from scratch, I was depleted and exhausted. During this time, I was invited to help lead worship at my church. We recorded on Wednesday nights ready to stream on Sundays. I was beyond physically exhausted. But God always replenishes and equips. As we rehearsed and recorded it was a beautiful time of worship that we were afforded and blessed beyond measure.

To be immersed and fully focused on worship through music was such a time of sacred energising. It is anointing, renewing, equipping, realigning, centring, and refreshing. As Danielle Strickland says: “Relax in the company of God and with those He invites me to love. Paying attention to the unforced rhythms of grace”.

I was able to inhale God’s strength and gain renewed energy that equipped me to keep leading learning and caring for our school families during an unprecedented time.

It’s also about being faithful to God’s calling on my life. In every job I have had, I have called on God to reveal His plan and that I may move in the direction He wants me to go. Faith steps in and although I am not always certain, God has taught me to trust and follow. The fruits of His promises are continually revealed in new and exciting ways.

What are you excited about for the future of TVCS?

I am excited continue to see our students possess graduate attributes of connection, creativity, critical thinking, discernment, transformation and growth and my hope is they engage in and contribute to God’s Story. I am excited to see TVCS continue to raise up culture-cultivators who shape the future to bring glory to God. I’m excited that I am still excited to be part of this vibrant school community.

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