The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

At this time of the year I am very fortunate to hear from families of Year 12 boys commenting on their son's teachers. Completing the formal years of schooling tends to provide an obvious reflection point for students and parents; reflections of celebration and sadness that the time has come to leave their college.

There is much written about what makes the difference between good and great schools. Some judgments about what constitutes a great school are made through very personal experiences at the time, others write in a more detailed and scientific way about the metrics which may point to a successful school.

However, there is no doubt that the quality of personal experiences for most students and families and the esprit de corps of a school is generated by the quality of the teaching staff. It is very simple, great staff, teaching and non-teaching, make great schools.

On Friday 25 October I released a blog for World Teachers' Day, in which I provided a saying from @Urban_Teacher:

'You don't build a top school; you build top teachers and then top teachers build top schools'

In 1970 I came to Australia from the UK as a 9-year-old and found myself going to a relatively small state school, Como Primary. My positive experience of the three years I attended this school was solely based on my memories about my fellow students and the way staff related to us students.

A couple of years ago I was given a book entitled 'My Favourite Teacher'. In this book famous and not so famous Australians write about the teachers who changed their minds, changed who they could be, and changed their lives. Ticky Fullerton had this to say about one of her teachers:

'She was known to all of us as Eggy, whether you were in her class or not. No other teacher at school or university had any impact on me at all. Eggy changed my life'.

As part of the annual feedback we receive from the MMG surveys, it is no surprise that the most important factor in choosing our school is the quality of the teaching.

While I know there are many things that go together to make Scotch a great school and community, it is timely that as 2019 is rapidly coming to a close, we remember just how important our teachers are to the development of our boys from Pre-K through to when they graduate as young men in Year 12.

Last Friday I held an OSC reunion in Melbourne at Trinity Residential College. Much of the conversation centered around past and current teachers. Positive teacher experiences are so important as they are remembered for a lifetime. Our reunion had forty OSCs from 1948 through to 2016 and they are still able to recall the great teachers and why they had such a major impact on their school and in many cases post school journey. I am sure most of us can recall fond memories of how great teachers influenced our lives.

Have a great fortnight.