Our ‘Values in Action’ series shines a light on how our Caulfield Grammar School employees live our School values. Pursuing Excellence is an ongoing commitment to individual and collective growth through perseverance, collaboration and resilience.
Steve Campbell, Health and Physical Education Teacher at Caulfield Campus, shares how Pursuing Excellence encourages him to reflect, grow and strive to be the best version of himself.
As far back as Year 9 I knew I was going to be a teacher. Both my parents were teachers so you could say it was in my blood. Teaching Physical Education just seemed a natural fit – it combined my passion for teaching with my love of coaching and sport.
When I started at Caulfield Grammar School in 2000, I took advantage of the numerous opportunities to coach sports. Being able to coach soccer, tennis, volleyball, athletics and cricket gave me a wonderful avenue to build a positive rapport with students. As the years progressed, I became TIC (Teacher in Charge) of Soccer, Snowsports and Campus Coordinator of Volleyball. These experiences helped me to build my organisational and peer support skills, which further enhanced my teaching.
One of my favourite sports is Ultimate (Frisbee). It has allowed me to travel the world. I’ve played at World Championships, representing Australia and my Club (Chilly) in Finland, New Zealand, Hawaii, USA, Canada, Italy, Japan and all over Australia. In recent years I have taken Caulfield Grammar teams to the Victorian Schools Championships and our students have been incredibly successful, winning many gold medals.
I have always believed that if you don’t like how something is being done, you can’t just complain about it – you need to step up and show how it can be improved. Over the years I have done this numerous times – volunteering to be Tournament Director of one of Australia’s largest ultimate tournaments and taking on the role of President of Ultimate Victoria. At Caulfield Grammar, I have had similar opportunities as Head of Middle School in 2007 and Head of House in 2008.
In 2015, I received the Rob Hancock Memorial Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in Australian Ultimate for my on-field play and off-field administration. I am immensely proud of this achievement.
The School Value that resonates strongly with me both in my capacity as a PE teacher and on a personal level would be Pursuing Excellence – ensuring I am always the best version of myself and striving to be my best, reflect and grow.
If I’m completely honest, striving to be my best over an entire day is a constant challenge. As a PE teacher my day is very physical, which I love. But after being active all day, I find that sometimes I don’t have much left in the tank for my own family. It’s something I reflect on often and I am constantly trying to find a balance.
To support and help staff at Caulfield Campus with their health and wellbeing, I run ‘The SHOP’, a social and fitness club which aims to get staff together to do weekly exercise. As President, I attempt to promote the benefits of spin classes, pool or boxing sessions, or simply doing a workout in the weights room with friends. The social benefits of doing this with other staff are invaluable.
Caulfield Grammar School is constantly adapting and pursuing excellence through its style of teaching, and over the years I’ve enjoyed the challenge of using new learning management systems and more recently the transition to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme.
When I’m working with my students we’ll often talk about ‘changing the channel’ – flipping a negative situation, thought or emotion to a positive one. Seeing a glass half full instead of half empty and just giving things a go.
I constantly remind myself and my students that taking a positive approach to everything is a great way to push us out of our comfort zones and take risks that will help us grow.
I find that my best self comes from surrounding myself with good people – listening to them, learning from them and, when I have the opportunity, leading them allows me to grow and challenges me to improve. That is what makes life fun … and I love having fun!
Caulfield 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.