John Harris (assistant teacher)

“Being too cautious means never being joyfully surprised. ” – Michael Palin

What inspires you to be an assistant teacher?
I love helping people grow, develop, and take their next steps in their personal and work life. My whole working life has incorporated aspects of teaching, training, equipping or developing people. For me learning is a life-long process. So as an assistant-teacher I value having the opportunity not only to share in that process with others but also to learn and grow myself.

About me
I am an Australian but have been living in Europe since 2001 – first in Ukraine and since 2007 in the Netherlands. My professional background is in teaching both at secondary school (History and English) and at tertiary level (Theology). I am married and we have two adult sons, one daughter-in-law, and both our sons are now Dutch citizens. I love travel and enjoy the culture, nature, history, food and of course the people I meet in the places I visit. I work for a small Dutch not-for-profit organisation in a leadership role; training, equipping, coaching, and supporting our workers as they move abroad to work in community-based projects.

Why have you chosen the ACC and what did the training bring you?
I completed the ACC two-year program and chose the ACC for several reasons. I wanted to develop professionally, as a part of my work role involves coaching and supporting our workers. In addition, I was looking to gain an accredited qualification that could be a step towards a coaching career. The program really appealed to me with both its breadth and depth. The way in which the program and the teachers facilitated both personal and professional growth was, for me, one of ACC’s real strengths. The fact that the program was offered in English and also online was attractive. The international flavour of the students was also a bonus and added a diversity and enriching dynamic to the program.

Who is my hero and why?
It is hard to choose just one person but people who stand up for what is right and just always inspire me. Rosa Parks a black US civil rights activist is one such example. I am inspired by people such as Rosa Parks and countless others like her who stand for what they believe in, who instigate a series of changes that make society a better, fairer, and more just place for people to live in. What inspires me is not only their courage but also that even small actions can result in significant change.