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

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY Matthew.McIn­er­

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 matthew.mcin­er­


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.

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