An interview with the newest member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Tell me a little bit about your connection to Dunedin?
I was actually born, raised and educated in Dunedin. I always considered Dunedin my home even though it was 25 years ago that I left. I remember Dunedin as a great place to grow up, where people are friendly and the city was large enough to have everything I could want, but not so large that living here came with all the big-city challenges. The city I have returned to still has a unique feel and it is great to be back.
Why did you become a teacher?
I remember school as a positive experience and from a young age, I appreciated the positive impact that a great teacher could have. I chose teaching as a career when I was very young. My favourite subject was Mathematics so it was an obvious decision to teach Mathematics and hopefully share the love of my subject. I have always enjoyed watching other people learn and grow; teaching can be a very rewarding job.
What is your educational experience before coming to John McGlashan?
My first teaching position was at New Plymouth Boys’ where I taught for 4 years. I then traveled to the UK on a working holiday where I was HOD Mathematics at Bearwood College. I returned to New Plymouth Boys where I worked as Head of Mathematics and Hostel Manager over a period of 12 years. My most recent appointment was at Hamilton Boys’ where I was Deputy Headmaster for 5 years and had responsibility for teaching and learning. I recently completed a masters in education with a particular focus on student management and wellbeing.
How would you describe your educational philosophy?
Put as simply as possible, teachers must prepare students for life beyond school. To do this we must offer a range of experiences and create a broad definition of what constitutes learning. The need to maintain high academic standards remains fundamental, but we need to remember that sport, drama, music, school camps etc are examples of experiences that can enrich the lives and futures of our students. Schools must develop student character to help them manage situations that may involve challenge and adversity, success and failure, patience and determination. Our students should feel supported as individuals who can occupy a key space within a community. They must be encouraged to be creative and critical thinkers but also understand the need for structure, consistent expectations and consequences/outcomes of decisions and choices.
What do you think of John McGlashan College after working there for 2 weeks?
John McGlashan is a special and unique school. It has a wonderful history founded on an act of generosity. The facilities are second to none and demonstrate a clear strategic vision due to excellent leadership and governance. The college has a strong and positive culture with values that I feel a strong personal alignment with. I recognise that all students are cared for, are encouraged to dream big and strive to reach their potential. There is an obvious, positive, and strong connection to the wider college community including the past pupils and parents. All the students and staff have been incredibly supportive and welcoming, making my recent relocation as smooth as I could have hoped for. If I needed any further confirmation of what a great college John McGlashan is, I need only look to my son who is in Year 7. He has already made friends, speaks highly of his teachers and is engaged in college life. He is very happy to be a Johnnies' boy.