4 February 2019

Headmaster's Reflections

Last Friday, Australia celebrated World Teachers' Day. A day established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 1994 to acknowledge the valuable work of teachers in classrooms and other educational environments. The impact of great teachers has always been understood and appreciated. As Maya Angelou said:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".

Every day, some 1500 boys are entrusted into the care and leadership of over 220 teachers here at Scotch College. I am proud to lead some of the finest teachers in the country at Scotch College, whose expertise and dedication to their field is second to none. But it is what our teachers do beyond the classroom that makes them invaluable. In a book entitled 'My favourite teacher' edited by Robert Macklin, a number of famous Australians express how they felt about their teachers. It is worth a read to remind us all of what we probably know in our hearts.

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When I speak with boys who have passed through the College, there seems to be a resounding theme when it comes to their past teachers. Inspiration. Old Scotch Collegians', both young and old, all share stories of how their teachers became their mentors and role models as they traversed a busy and challenging time in their lives. Whether it be inspiring a student to pursue a particular field of study or career path or simply providing the motivation and encouragement to push through a difficult personal time, our teachers go above and beyond for the boys at Scotch College, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

Schooling years are fraught with vulnerability, insecurity and anxiety about the future so to know our teachers are not only delivering the curriculum to our young men, but also inadvertently acting as role models, leaders and people to aspire to is reassuring. That is what makes a great teacher, and in turn, a great school.

I wish all teachers no matter where they work or within which system they teach, all the very best for the role they play in one of the most important professions, that of Education.

Last week I attended the orientation of new 2019 families within our Junior School. The excitement and appreciation expressed by our new families all bodes well for the future. In particular, our new families were very impressed with the staff and the multitude of programmes and offerings available to our Junior School boys.

Likewise, in Middle School, Ms Sophie Berry and myself presented to some 30 new prospective parents and students last Thursday night. These are great moments to truly articulate what we stand for in terms of teaching and learning at Scotch. Sometimes we take for granted the things we do each and every day so it helps to step back from time to time and revisit and celebrate the many opportunities provided for our students.

In closing, I would like to thank the community for settling into new pick up and drop off scenarios emanating from the commencement of our new building. This is now progressing rapidly and in case you haven't had chance to see the progress thus far, I have included a couple of shots below.

Have a great fortnight.

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Dr Alec O'Connell
Headmaster