Martin’s NQ stint made him Childers’ best
Teacher specialised in outdoor education programs during his 40-year career while he taught generations of local families
YOU COULD stop just about any former Childers State School student in the street and every single one would have a story about Mr Warren Martin.
Whether it’s the annual camping adventures (or outdoor education as it was officially known), the way he interacted with students or his enthusiastic removal of reptiles and other animals from classrooms, Mr Martin made a sizable impact on the school.
He left the classroom in 2009 and officially resigned in 2011, and has since ran a few head of cattle at his North Isis property, as well as filled numerous volunteer roles.
Mr Martin is a Childers boy through and through.
He was born here, attended Childers State School, and spent all but two to three years teaching at his local educational institution.
Despite spending 90% of his career teaching in the district, Mr Martin said his experience teaching in a small school in far-north Queensland helped shape him as a teacher.
“Back then you went through a scholarship to be a teacher and you were bonded to it, so you had to go where the department told you,” Mr Martin said.
“I was asked to go up north to a school, so I went up in 1972. I’d never heard of the place but the department (of Education) didn’t know too much about it either.
“I went to talk to them about it and the staffing inspector couldn’t tell me much at all.
“It’s been 40-odd years since then but I’ve been back four or five times.
“I met a lot of my former students up there but it was very hard to picture what they looked like now compared to my memory of them at the school.”
Mr Martin returned to Childers in 1975 and did what he did best until he left in 2009.
One of the biggest changes Mr Martin – as well as principal Robyn Philpott (left) and fellow former teacher Donna Anderson (below) – faced was the changing technology.
From working with what Mrs Anderson described as a “manual photocopier”, to the introduction of overhead projectors and television to the classroom, and Mrs Philpott’s electronic whiteboards, he said the evolution of technology was often difficult to keep up with.
Mr Martin said he did what he could to stay ahead of the game, which included buying his own video and TV for his lucky students.
“TV and video players were coming in when I was up north, so I got to use them long before we got them here,” Mr Martin said.
“We had a ball. We’d make up little plays – the kids would write and film them – then we’d watch them back. I was doing that with my class way before the school owned equipment.
“I tried to keep ahead of technology when I was younger but it’s just too much now.”
As much as Mr Martin could stay ahead of technology, there was one thing at the school he admitted he couldn’t quite control – the wildlife.
Mr Martin said there were numerous occasions he received calls from other teachers that an unwelcome guest had turned up for class.
“I’d go in and get snakes out, and if they weren’t dangerous I’d bring them back to class to show the kids,” Mr Martin said.
Mr Martin’s story is one of thousands to come out of the school.
Send your memories of the school to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPECIAL TALENT: Former Childers State School teacher Warren Martin. Mr Martin now runs cattle, leads history tours in the region and volunteers.
An aerial view of how the school looks in 2014.