Innovation through the eyes of an Innovator

This is a story about a school, a teacher and a group of
students. The school is a girls’ high school in the suburbs of Melbourne.
This area is quite middle class and many of the school’s patrons think of
it as a state grammar school. Indeed many of the girls have a brother at the
local boys’ grammar. This is not to say that none of the students experience
poverty at home – the school is the local high school for girls and accepts
all the students within the zone who apply for it – however what poverty there
is is well hidden.

The teacher is the author of this narrative. I came to the
school in 1983 after spending seven very succesful years in a nearby co–educational
state high school. In fact, I came armed with a very recent teacher assessment which unanimously rated my current teaching
performance and suitablility for promotion as excellent and highly recommended
respectively. I was confident that I could tackle anything that this school
could throw at me. It was with some excitment then that I accepted the role
of Mathematics Co–ordinator even though I did not consider myself an expert
in mathematics. (Most of my previous efforts had been directed at the teaching
of Physics and the use of computers in schools.)  For reasons that I hope
will become obvious as this narrative unfolds, I will leave the school, three
years later, a battered but not defeated soul.

The students are a fairly normal (albeit all female) group
of young teenagers. A group I have watched change from an assortment of wide–eyed,
enthusiastic children just out of primary school to young people who have
begun to experiment (to various degrees) with life – whose innocence is starting
to fade into a memory. I met this group at the beginning of my second year
at the school. I had decided that I would have a Year 7 class as I had had
no junior classes in my first year and was eager to try out the ideas I had
been espousing.

Read the whole story here.

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