Our ‘Values in Action’ series shines a light on how our Caulfield Grammar School employees live our School values.
Patrick Dower, Year 5 Teacher & Team Coordinator at Malvern Campus, shares how the value of Inspiring Creativity is so integral to his role.
I decided as early as Year 7 that I wanted to teach. I was inspired by my own teachers and my mum, who is a teacher – and I’ve always loved the junior school environment. Although children appear much more connected and informed than we were when I was in school, particularly with the growth in social media and exposure to news and technology, there remains an element of wholesomeness in these junior years. You get to see them grow in so many ways, but in the end they are still children – they are able to bring their own thoughts, knowledge and approaches to the table but are still receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
I get most enjoyment out of observing the physical and verbal response when a student achieves something they felt they couldn’t do, smiling or excitedly sharing this new skill with others. They gain enjoyment out of learning, achieving and sharing, and this becomes a habit. Sometimes as an adult I think we forget how amazing it is to learn a new skill.
In this way, I believe our values of ‘Inspiring Creativity’ and ‘Pursuing Excellence’ work in conjunction with each other. I value an academic approach, but giving students the opportunity to find enjoyment and express themselves through their passion or interests is also important. It’s about inspiring them to combine learning with creative pursuits to show how truly excellent they are.
I am currently a Year 5 Teacher and Team Coordinator at Malvern Campus. I also work with our Head of Wellbeing, Natalie Fanariotis, on our Respectful Relationships Committee and endeavour to include the School Values underpinning this program in my classroom approach. While, at times, our students don’t yet fully appreciate the content, I hope that when they look back as adolescents or adults they will see the purpose and benefits of what they were doing and remember my classroom as being a great place to be – not just from a learning perspective, but in terms of feeling accepted, included, safe and happy.
Caufield Grammar School is a values-led school. Our five School Values guide the way we work together and behave. Active interaction with these values supports our students and staff in having clarity and ownership about what it means to be a member of the Caulfield Grammar School community – how we treat each other, and what we expect from each other.