A NEWLY released book will give prospective, beginning or established teachers the tools they need to find their own unique pedagogical gift.
Written by acclaimed educator, author and presenter, Frank Crowther with Ken Boyne, Energising Teaching: The power of your unique pedagogical gift, is an insight into how to undertake self-reflection and critique – individually, across a school or in a cohort – to build on existing expertise and renew drive for the job, resulting in better outcomes for students, schools and teachers themselves.
Through case studies, personal stories, exercises and strategies featured in the book, readers learn how to direct their own unique gift towards effective, transformative teaching.
State Education Minister Kate Jones officially launched the book at a function attended by family, friends and special guests.
The minister said the book challenged all education systems to embrace the individual gifts of every single teacher that chose to dedicate their lives to “this amazing profession”.
“It’s a critical piece of work, especially when we are having … fruitless debates about education that are not about the best interests of the teacher or students.
“This is a piece of work that cuts through all that and one that we can all embrace … and one that teachers are crying out for.”
Co-author Ken Boyne said the book was about the individual teacher and what were the essential drivers that made them a special teacher.
“It raises the question: What is your essential pedagogical gift”,” he said.
Ken said St Rita’s School, Victoria Point, was central to the project, but they went to other teachers and non-teachers to validate the work they were doing.
He said it was a relief to finally see the book launched.
“I see this very much as pulling together the threads of a lot of very good ideas that Frank’s introduced in the past around pedagogy and bringing it to a new dimension,” he said.
Professor Crowther acknowledged the contribution of the teachers who participated in the book’s development, especially “the fabulous eight” from St Rita’s, who were central to the story.
St Rita’s teacher Tracy Hill, one of the “fab eight”, said she felt privileged to be part of the book.
“It was interesting, inspiring, enjoyable and challenging, but all worth it in the end,” she said.
“I hope when teachers read this book they get the confidence to be themselves in the classroom.”
The book has been dedicated to the memory of the late Shane Thompson, a deputy principal at St Rita’s School, who tragically lost his life in 2015.
His support of the publication was significant and much of the book’s associated royalties will be paid into a fund administered by St Rita’s School as a memorial to Mr Thompson’s life and work as a teacher and administrator.
Former St Rita’s principal Anne McKenny, who was instrumental in bringing the project to the school, said the book was a literary and professional masterpiece.
“This book is testimony to Frank and Ken’s dedication to improving the status and fully honouring the teaching profession,” she said.
“May all who engage with this book find the joy and the unique gifts of teaching that will lift and be a gift to our students, current and into the future.
“Ultimately, it is they who deserve the fullness of our gifts because it is this – more than anything else that they will remember, treasure and will make the difference in their lives.”
Now an Area Supervisor within BCE, Anne said Energising Teaching was a must-read for anyone seeking to make a difference in education.