Dr Peter Lennox, principal, Redlands
What made you want to enter teaching?
From a very early age I loved learning and was fortunate to have a great school experience with many inspiring teachers. Teaching allowed me to continue to learn in the subject fields that I had particularly enjoyed and to share those subjects with new learners.
What do you like most about working in a school?
The students and simply being in a place of continuous learning. One day is never the same as the last and one can constantly exercise one’s brain and one’s heart in solving challenges, as well as serve as a model of continual learning for our girls, boys and staff.
What are some of the changes to education that you have witnessed in your time as principal?
* The broadening of the curriculum; the huge improvement in how teaching is practiced; and the broadening of scope from a focus largely upon content learning to include an holistic care and regard for each individual student. I believe that the modern pedagogy and the capacity to take that holistic approach to the teacher role has truly made teaching today a profession that combines both science and art.
* The shift away from teacher-driven rote learning and passive students to active students who are engaged in their learning and can apply their knowledge to solving real-life problems.
* A culture of seeing learning as an exciting life-long journey in a world where complexity keeps growing; a world in which humans are challenged to deal with that complexity in ways that call upon them to accept responsibility to be caretakers of the planet, and socially responsible beings in a society where the common good and care for others should ideally be the goal.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
What are some special achievements of your staff, students and the school that you are most proud of?
What hopes do you have for the future of your school?
What is your motto for running a successful school?
It’s not a motto, but a belief. Children are born as explorers of the world around them. That is a consequence of having that wondrous asset, the human brain, which is so remarkably powerful. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers not to take that inquiring mind away from them or dull it, but rather to encourage it to shine as they build the knowledge, skills, competencies and personal attitudes that will serve them throughout their lives, making them continually meaningful.
The two schools which I have been blessed to lead as head have mottos which I think work in perfect harmony when placed together: