What makes a school community great? We talk to leaders about their learning culture and their own personal perspectives on Australian education today.
Who are you meeting this week? Let's go to Western Australia...
Armando Giglia is the Principal of Butler College in WA, a longstanding YourTutor partner school thanks to the support of Edith Cowan University since 2011. We nabbed a minute of his time to find out what he thinks about modern schools, and the new challenges schools are facing.
What's your own favourite school memory?
No single thing comes to mind. I enjoyed meeting new people, many of whom I still see to this day, and in senior school the interaction with the staff changed to being able to have some real conversations with them. Some left such an impression that it made me want to be a teacher too.
What are you always saying to students?
Knowledge, Integrity and Respect: this is a school, so learn and enjoy; you should always try and do something because it’s the right thing to do and; make sure you respect yourself as well as those around you.
Most parents are just wishing that they were at school now because there are so many more opportunities available!
What's one thing your students have that you wish you had in school?
So many more opportunities. The offerings were pretty limited when I went to school but now, the sky’s the limit – literally, when you can even do an aviation course!
How have parents' expectations of schools changed?
Overall, not really much at all. They just want the very best for their kids and for them to be happy– as we all do. Unfortunately, the pace of life has changed so much that some parents are now relying on school staff to do a lot of the parenting for them, which is okay when it is done in partnership with them, but not so when a parent tries to be their child’s “mate” rather than a parent. It sends mixed messages and does not help in any way at all. Luckily, this is a small number and most parents are supportive and just wishing that they were at school now because there are so many more opportunities available!
The most important skill a student can develop during school is... Resilience. Things don’t always go your way… get over it, pick yourself up and have another go.
"I didn't know at first how to work out these few questions, I had been stuck on them for a while. I joined the tutor and now I understand. Thank you so much for your kindness and helpfulness :)"
- Year 7 student at Butler College, after a Maths session with YourTutor