Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ Dec16Jan17 Contents 17
even RGS Primary and
Secondary Teachers attained
Masters qualifications this year,
four as part of the School’s first-
in-Australia custom Masters in
Education, delivered by Griffith University
and established by the School in 2013.
“I have gained a deeper understanding
of how children learn and function,
academically and emotionally,” said Prep
Teacher and Griffith graduate, Mrs Adair
Melhose, whose classroom environment,
rich in materials and possibilities,
invites children to investigate, share and
direct much of their own learning.
“My belief in what I do and how I
teach was strengthened by my studies.”
Mrs Melhose earned her first Bachelor
of Education (Primary) with Distinction in
2003 and has taught at RGS since 2007.
“T here are a lot of great things about
the programme but the fact that every
teacher who completed a Masters
would recommend it to others says a
lot about their commitment to their
students, parents and the School’s
commitment to our teachers,” said
Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds.
“No other School in Australia invests
like we do in teachers and in teaching.
It’s the best investment the School can
make, as research shows teachers –
and their development and cla ssroom
performance – have the greatest influence
on student outcomes,” added Dr Moulds.
Dr Stephen Hay, from Griffith
University, worked with RGS teachers
as they progressed through the degree.
He described the partnership between
RGS and Griffith University as a unique
opportunity to bring the findings of
research into the classroom as a way
of driving ev idence based practice
for improving student’s learning.
“Enabling staff to gain qualifications
through a postgraduate study pathway
is an excellent model of professional
development. It enables teachers to
sustain professional conversations around
a host of current issues spanning across
disciplines and year levels,” said Dr Hay.
The model and structure of the degree,
the time and support given to teachers
by the School and the investment by the
Board of The Rockhampton Grammar
School in teacher excellence on such a
scale is unprecedented in Australia.
Year 4 teacher Sonya Whitehead found
the programme was “worth it”, admitting
that the demands of teaching and family
life were heavy over the three years she
researched educational reforms.
“T he world doesn’t stop while
you are trying to meet assignment
deadlines,” she said.
“It was stressful but also calming.
I learned to let the world go
round,” Mrs Whitehead added.
All the teachers said they felt a personal
and professional responsibility to learn
more and that they valued the collaborative
and supportive nature of the group of
RGS peers undertaking the degree.
Approximately 20 RGS sta ff have
expressed interest in enrolling in the
Masters programme in 2017 and 2018.
“I have grown as a teacher,”
volunteered graduate Tamara Giles.
The Business teacher deepened her
knowledge of policy and leadership
during her Ma ster of Education journey.
“I have always loved learning and
proved to myself that I could complete
the degree,” stated Ms Giles.
Art teacher Amanda Lowjen’s
empathy for students deepened as
a result of her study experience.
“I have a greater understanding of the
pressure my students feel when meeting
deadlines and facing [new challenges].”
English Teacher and Head of
Depart ment Catherine Cuddihy
completed a CQUniversity Masters
in Creative Writing and Literature
that she started four years ago.
“I have an obsession with
learning,” she confessed.
Ms Cuddihy, who takes -up the position
of RGS Dean of Studies in 2017, went back
to university hoping that it would, among
other things, improve her cla ssroom
preparation and students’ learning.
It has, she said, but teachers
study for many other reasons
according to Dr Moulds.
“Some want to be inspired or stay current
with the latest teaching practices, others
want to diversify their skill set or specialise
so they can focus on special areas of
education that really do require a graduate
qualification,” explained Dr Moulds.
The Masters is part of the School’s
wider programme of professional
development, undertaken by all teachers.
Teaching, like medicine, law and
accounting professions requires
constant learning added Dr Moulds.
Great teaching, however, is not solely
based on accumulated knowledge.
“People with ability and knowledge –
teachers who are smart and who know the
content they are teaching and practice
effective ways of teaching it, are people who
are or become good teachers. In addition
to that, great teachers have a real passion
and high expectations. They genuinely
care about students as people. Importantly,
they are not afraid to embrace challenges
and approach learning differently when
the circumstances require change.”
The Masters Programme was introduced
by the School because, “I want teachers
to be the teachers they have always
wanted to be,” Dr Moulds elaborated.
“Our teachers have terrific ideas and
strong ideals and they are respected
supported. They have magical
relationships with students and parents.
They are filled with enthusiasm,
energy and motivation. They are the
ones who make the difference.”
Teachers have magical
relationships with students
and parents. They are filled
with enthusiasm, energy and
motivation. They are the ones
who make the difference.
Dr Phillip Moulds, Headmaster
As a school RGS celebrates new learning all the time, usually students’ new learning. In this
case, we focus on some teachers’ recent outstanding achievements, writes Mike Donahue
Links Archive CQ Oct 2016 CQ April 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page