Monthly Archives: September 2021

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Allan Shaw, School Whisperer, Farewell to the best job in the world

Allan Shaw, School Whisperer – Farewell to the best job in the world

Category:Education

Leading a school is the best job in the world, bringing together professional staff and parents to build a community around children and young people.

But occasionally you have some of the worst days imaginable. It is difficult to be physically confronted by a student who you know has hurt one of their own parents recently or to gather a group of students to explain that one of their peers has taken their own life.

The challenges I have faced in schools have helped form who I am. The people I have met and worked with have enriched my life. In return, I have influenced the lives of thousands of children and young people (hopefully, positively) across a school leadership career of more than 20 years.

My career in school education started in 1979 with a posting to a secondary technical school in the far northern suburbs of Melbourne as an art teacher. I still have vivid recollections of my very first lesson.

More than four decades later, my career as a school principal has concluded. I worked as teacher and school leader across three states and territories and across all three sectors of school education: government, Catholic and independent schools. Each school has its own culture and context. Each has allowed, encouraged or insisted I learn and adapt.

Working in schools is intellectually, emotionally, and socially demanding. It is also incredibly rewarding to meet adults who I first knew as children or teenagers. Even the naughtiest have turned into decent people. Many have gone on to make significant contributions to their communities, in ways that I could not imagine at the time I knew them in school. In that sense, the rewards of teaching are palpable. I take no credit for the successes of these students but I have had the privilege of a small influence on their growth and development.

The needs of students have become much more complex over the last 15 years. As young people enter a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, they need additional skills. The development of strong literacy and numeracy skills, and a solid knowledge base must be complemented by the development of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, an ethical character and the capacity to make positive contributions.

We must acknowledge the important role the adults in schools play in the development of the young. We must invest in developing the capacity of these people, to invest in our young people. The teacher in the room with your child is second only to you, their parents, in their influence on your children.

I wish I was 20 years younger and able to be more involved in these exciting challenges in schools. I am not, and thus I hand over to a new generation.

Allan Shaw is the recently retired principal of The Knox School.

Story printed in The Age – September 16, 2021


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Covid Vax Map Update - Health Geographics Dr Jeanine McMullan has mapped, the distribution of those Australian 15 years and above.

Vacination Map Update as at September 13, 2021

Category:Health Tags : 

The Australian Department of Health is now publishing regular updates showing vaccination rates as a percentage of those 15 years and above, presented by Australian Bureau of Statistics SA3s.

In the public interest, the CEO of Health Geographics Dr Jeanine McMullan has mapped, via the following link, the distribution of those Australian 15 years and above with one jab, two jabs and one jab minus two jabs. These updates will be uploaded to this map link as they become available, beginning with September 6, 2021.

It was felt that those Australians with one jab, awaiting a second jab, were more likely to represent recent vaccination trends, as eligibility criteria has recently extended to younger groups and a broader range of priority groups and this in turn has been heavily influenced by recent Covid outbreaks in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

There are 335 SA3s in Australia, with an average of about 60,000 persons aged 15 plus years.

Smaller SA3s in remote or regional Australia contain about 10,000 persons 15 plus years. The larger SA3s include the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne containing up to a quarter of a million persons 15 years and over. They provide a reasonable picture of a significant health event now taking place across the nation.

The Esri map https://arcg.is/1DeX1H0 can be opened and managed on virtually all devices, including PCs, Tables and Mobile Phones.

 

Covid Vax Map Update 9-9-2021