Tuesday 21st November, 2017
After 25 years of teaching, Greg Mullins has been at Glenvale for the past 12 months and he is impressed by the student-centric attitude of staff – from the teachers, through to the campus administration team (CA).
“I love the variety in both who I work with and what I do,” says Greg. “I get to work closely with a lot of different people. I like being able to run ideas past the CA team who are student-orientated – they are driven to get the best education for the students. The Head Of Campus’s at various sites in Victoria are excellent as is the central leadership team. I like that feeling that you are part of something bigger, too. The national and global nature of the school operating as a whole has really started to grow. I love the ideals of SDL; it is a teaching philosophy that enables learning to be lifelong.”
Greg has enjoyed his teaching career and has mainly taught in the private sector. He has enjoyed his time at both OneSchool and his previous teaching experiences, but he does notice one key difference.
“At OneSchool there is a willingness to explore things educationally,” he says. “The need to keep progress with the world is always to the fore. Some essentially really good schools do the same thing year in and year out because it is the safe, the tried and true. The world is not like this anymore, so the key thing is the willingness to be progressive. I like the CAP program too. I think that the system sets up students for life after school really well compared to some places.”
The virtual classroom is something new to Greg, and he admits it has had its challenges. But there are plenty of upsides from a teaching point of view. And he also notices how VC and SDL complement each other.
“Using Zoom effectively, I can run small group discussions as well as teach the whole group,” he says. “I have found that SDL is the thing that makes VC work. If I was a face on the computer talking at the kids all the time, it would be tiresome and boring for all involved. If I can create meaningful tasks that are student driven, where I am there to facilitate, then VC works well.”
How students progress is key to how Greg measures his teaching effectiveness. And he is happy with this year’s crop.
“Like most kids you have to earn your stripes, but I find them really appreciative of the help you give them,” he says. “When I look back at the growth throughout the year it is really pleasing. It is also surprising how well you can develop a relationship with students who you only ever see on a screen. Two other things stand out about students here – they are really active and they are very competitive!”
Parents are a key ingredient to making all OneSchool campuses tick. Swan Hill is no exception.
“I love the parents at Swan Hill. How don’t they help? From the CA team down, they are all involved but they respect my experience as an educator,” he says. “School would not be the same without them. It is not just the parents either, it extends to members of the community that have no children here. Grandparents as well – they are all involved. We have parents help with learning support, driving kids to excursions, catering events and canteen.”
Just how impressed is Greg with OneSchool? It’s summed up in how he started teaching here.
“Essentially, when I saw the position advertised for HOC at Swan Hill I did some research,” he says. “I read about the teaching philosophy of OneSchool. At the time, I was working in a good school that had traditional ideas. I came to the interview partly to find out more, with the intention of trying to introduce a similar philosophy in to the school I was working at. However, I was so impressed with OneSchool, I took the job!”