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Inside Teaching : October 2010
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org 20 QUESTIONS 39 teaching. What I do recall is that I became a science and maths teacher when there was an acute shortage of maths and science teachers so there were close bonds with young peers who supported each other – collegial support. What’s something that happened from your days in front of the class that still makes you laugh? Outside the classroom it was the camaraderie of teachers, particularly in my first school in Melbourne and then later in Canada. There were wonderfully good times during the school day and outside. In Canada, I was invited to join a staff team to compete in curling, a kind of lawn bowls on ice. Our team did quite well but I caused a lot of mirth in my attempts to develop the basic skills. I may take it up again as there is an excellent ice facility here in Melbourne and we may form a family team. I mentioned earlier your role as Managing Director of Educational Transformations. One of the principal changes you see coming is schools becoming autonomous entities, making decisions about their direction themselves and building relationships with various bodies in their locale. In the autonomous school, will classroom teachers who are already stretched for time be expected to devote more time to council meetings, raising funds and so on? No, no, no, no! Your question is very 20th century. I’ve visited thousands of schools over 50 years all around the world and I’ve never come across two schools that were the same, whether public or private. Every child has different needs and aptitudes so learning experiences should be personalised. A school needs a mixture of staff skills, supplies and abilities in a unique mix. I BECAME A SCIENCE AND MATHS TEACHER WHEN THERE WAS AN ACUTE SHORTAGE OF MATHS AND SCIENCE TEACHERS SO THERE WERE CLOSE BONDS WITH YOUNG PEERS WHO SUPPORTED EACH OTHER – COLLEGIAL SUPPORT.