Tuesday 2nd May, 2017
Veer Fowder has been teaching at Glenvale for the past 13 years and has seen many changes within OneSchool during that time.
“Management has invested heavily in infrastructure, classroom technology and highly qualified staff,” he says. “Students and teachers have their own laptops. Students now have a wider choice of subjects they want to undertake and they also have access to Video Conferencing through Polycom and the newly introduced Zoom. One of the biggest changes has been the willingness of students to excel in exams. We have had students with perfect study score of 50 over several years and ATAR scores of above 90.”
As for whether technology has been good for teaching, Veer is an avid fan.
“[When computers were introduced] VCE Business skyrocketed and we haven’t looked back,” he says. “The students’ laptops allow them to have access resources provided by their teachers and at the same time be in control of how much they want to learn. With the introduction of Video Conferencing, students have now access to study for subjects where a teacher is not available at their campus. It gets even better this year with the introduction of Zoom VC technology.”
Teachers also have to play their part, he says. It’s just not all about students. “As teachers, we must keep ourselves updated with changing curriculum, technology and legislation,” he says. “[A teacher’s] primary objective is to help students to maximise their potential. Have a one-to-one chat on a regular basis giving feedback what the child is doing well and where improvements are required.”
Parents can also take a bow and can the OneSchool community as a whole, he says.
“One of the pillars for the success of our school is the parents, which we tend not to talk about. I believe I have been a successful teacher at Glenvale thanks to the support of parents,” he says. “They also want their children to do well at school and play an important role in our schooling system. From time to time if a student has not submitted a piece of work, one phone call to the parent and the next day the completed task will be on my desk. You do not see such committed parents in other schools. Glenvale is a good place to work. We do not have to deal with students under the influence of drugs, smoking, teenage pregnancy, truancy, depression due to broken families, theft and so on. We are lucky to be working good kids. At the end of every lesson, my students individually thank me for having taught that lesson. This is still happening in the 21st century. How good is that?”