JAMES Sheahan Catholic High School art teacher Les Quick is one of 14 teachers in the State to be awarded a Quality Teaching Award by Minister for Education and Training John Watkins.
Mr Quick is now a member of the Australian College of Education in recognition of his personal philosophy on education that can be summed up as “allowing students to shine”.
“In the end teachers are accountable to parents and students,” Mr Quick said.
“The classroom environment should be a happy, safe, healthy place, and I believe in mutual respect and acceptance of all.
“This is a big milestone in my career and the award is more prestigious than I ever thought,” he said.
Mr Quick said teachers should also be mindful that students are someone else’s children, and teachers need to understand their background.
“You need to understand their background, walk down the street and see where they live, see what socio-economic groups they are from,” Mr Quick said.
“Teaching is not just about knowledge. It is a whole gamut of things - helping them to develop skills to be a good citizen, positive and understanding.
“For some, teachers are their only role models. So long as they are happy. You can’t teach unhappy people,” he said.
To achieve the award Mr Quick submitted a professional learning portfolio of more than 70 pages with a statement of his professional beliefs and values, evidence of accomplishments from curriculum content to teaching outcomes, assessment of student learning and professional values and development.
“I knew they wouldn’t agree with my beliefs and philosophies but I was open and honest with my responses,” he said.
His portfolio was assessed by a cross-section of people convened by the Australian College of Education and it will now be used as research material to improve the quality of education in the State.
Mr Quick has been an art teacher for 20 years and has spent seven years teaching at James Sheahan High School.
He was presented with his award at a ceremony held at Government House. He was told his portfolio was used as a benchmark for the other submissions.
“That was quite flattering,” he said.