Home Culture Culture Features

This Could Be You: Meet the Teachers Who Love Their Jobs

Dreaming of a career change? These three teachers will inspire you to take the plunge

In Partnership with the Australian Government

What makes someone a great teacher? That was the question Rolling Stone Australia set out to answer in our three-part ‘Be That Teacher’ docuseries. 

We recently took a deep dive into the lives and classrooms of three remarkable teachers across Australia. Doing more than just teaching Maths and English, they’re truly transforming young lives through their unique approaches. 

We learned a lot, like the benefits of a sunrise surf before school, the power of music in education, and how to bring empathy into the classroom. But the most obvious lesson of them all was this: the best teachers are the ones who really love what they do. And Luke, Matt, and Aidan sure do. 

Here’s a recap of their inspiring stories.

Luke Springer: Bringing Empathy to the Classroom

Mr. Luke, as he’s known by his almost two million TikTok followers, stands out not just for his enthusiastic teaching style but for his heartwarming connection with his students.

Luke has created a classroom that nurtures emotional intelligence. Through his own infectious attitude, he shows kids it’s okay to be yourself, show emotion, and prioritise kindness. “We’re trying our best to really form these little guys into the best version of themselves,” he shares in his episode. 

Though it takes a lot of hard work, Luke makes it all look easy and proves being a teacher is, above all, a fun job. “I get really excited coming to school every day [and] hopefully, make that positive impact in my students’ lives,” he says. 

He gets just as much joy from playing, learning, and sharing as his students do. If that’s not a great way to spend your days, what is? 

Matt Barber: Surf’s Up, Scores Up

When school starts with an early morning surf and sunshine, it’s easy to see why Matt loves his job. Based on Australia’s east coast, Matt uses surfing as more than just a hobby – it’s a tool for giving teenagers life lessons in resilience, discipline, and community. Or ‘Ocean Therapy’, as he calls it.

“Win the morning, win the day,” Matt says, advocating the science behind early exposure to sunlight and its effect on mood and focus. He proves teachers don’t have to be confined to the four walls of a classroom. Sometimes, you can set students up to learn their most important lessons out in the real world. 

“If they can turn up every day at the beach at six o ‘clock in the morning, then they can turn up to a job site at six o ‘clock. There’s a lot of flow on effects,” he says. 

Aidan Prewett: Leaving a Legacy Through Music 

One look at Aidan’s music classroom, where albums line the walls and a record player spins classic tracks, it’s clear this is his happy place. For him, teaching is all about creating a space where students feel free to create and be themselves. “This place is my home,” he says. “I feel like this is where I belong. I can’t really imagine ever leaving. It’s just a beautiful place to be.” 

Inspired by a giant poster of the movie School of Rock, Aidan has embraced an unconventional teaching style that focuses on creating real connections with students through music and having a lot of fun along the way. 

“Some of them are going to go off and do music, some of them aren’t,” he says of his students. “But all of them are going to take a little bit of our classroom with them into their life… and that’s pretty cool.” His impact is obvious, not just in his students’ musical achievements but in their personal growth. That’s one legacy he’s super proud of. 

Ready to Become a Teacher? 

As we wrap up the ‘Be That Teacher’ docuseries, one thing is clear: these educators are redefining what it means to teach and inspire. They are proof that with passion, personality, and a lot of heart, education can be an awesome experience not only for the students but for their own lives too. 

If ever there was a time to consider a career in teaching, it’s now – inspired by the likes of Luke, Aidan, and Matt, who show us what it looks like to make a difference, one student at a time.  

Learn about becoming a teacher in Australia at Already a teacher? Share your own story in the Online Teacher Gallery

I want to be a teacher.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine