Author Archives: Jade Stroud-Watts

Most of us can recall a favourite teacher from when we were young – someone who had a lasting impact on us, either because they were infectiously passionate about their subject, or took a special interest in our learning, or encouraged us to be more than we thought we could be. Not all my teachers had such a positive impact – there are some that I would rather forget, people who did not seem to enjoy their jobs or even like children, and who left scars. They too shaped me, I suppose, and inspired me to be a better and more compassionate teacher through their negative example. Teachers have such powerful impacts on their students; it is our huge privilege and a great responsibility. In my time at Camberwell Grammar I have been very lucky in recent years to have worked with two extraordinary women. Each of them, in their own way, have been inspirational teachers, and I suspect that many of our students will remember them one day as one of their favourite teachers. Unfortunately, both of them are leaving us at the end of 2017.
One of the most impressive scholars our School has produced since 1886 is Professor Sir Walter Murdoch, who was Dux of our School in 1889. He pursued an academic career at Melbourne University and then, for most of his career, in Western Australia, where a university now bears his name. Given his eminent academic career it is appropriate that a new research and development arm in our School will be called ‘The Walter Murdoch Centre’. Educational thinking and practice is moving very quickly at the moment, and the implications of technology and how it can be used to help teaching and learning are only just now beginning to be understood. In order for us to keep up with the rate of change, and also to help prepare our students for the world they will enter after school, we need to devote some resources to research and innovation, and the Murdoch Centre will provide these.
Declan and his classmate Liam Brady, also 15, have been studying Indonesian since Year 7. Although neither of them have decided whether they will continue studying the language until Year 12, both chose the language to learn more about one of Australia's nearest neighbours. "It's interesting to … [gain] insight into their way of life and a bit more history about them," Liam says. "There's a lot of different opportunities [that] can involve the use of the language. "If you wanted to join the army, or certain other jobs that involve interactions with other countries, you need to be able to speak a second language."