Teacher re­tires

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Pop­u­lar Be­nalla teacher Paul Chal­lis will bring his more than 30 years in ed­u­ca­tion to a close at the end of term.

Mr Chal­lis said while he had en­joyed his ca­reer he was look­ing for­ward to re­tir­ing and hav­ing a bit more spare time.

‘‘My wife is also re­tir­ing and one of the things we want to do is to give a bit back to the com­mu­nity,’’ Mr Chal­lis said.

‘‘We want to vol­un­teer a bit and the rea­son we want to do that is that my dad was a re­turned ser­vice­man from World War II, and so was my wife’s fa­ther.

‘‘So we want to vol­un­teer and do a bit for the legacy RSL group, that’s the plan.

‘‘We’re also go­ing to help out with meals on wheels once a month.’’

On top of the vol­un­tary work Mr Chal­lis said he was look­ing for­ward to mak­ing the most of liv­ing in Vic­to­ria’s north east.

‘‘I don’t un­der­stand why more peo­ple don’t come and re­tire here,’’ he said.

‘‘The weather is mag­nif­i­cent and there’s some beau­ti­ful coun­try in this part of the world.

‘‘We’re also go­ing to travel a bit, we’ve got a son in Japan and our other son is a teacher in Mel­bourne, so we’ll have time to visit them.’’

Mr Chal­lis be­gan his teach­ing ca­reer in Port­land in a dif­fer­ent era.

‘‘I’ve been teach­ing since 1987. I started in Port­land. Af­ter a cou­ple of years we moved to Echuca and I worked there for 20 years,’’Mr Chal­lis said.

‘‘Af­ter that I worked for a cou­ple of years in Wan­garatta be­fore tak­ing on a job here.

‘‘There’s been a lot of changes since 1987. Com­put­ers were just com­ing in and no stu­dent had a mo­bile phone.

‘‘And hav­ing mo­bile phones in schools has be­come a bit of an is­sue. But we’ve got a pol­icy here that the kids re­spect.

‘‘The most sig­nif­i­cant change I’ve seen is in the so­cial fab­ric of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Now it’s nor­mal for both par­ents to be work­ing and the kids are home alone a bit.

‘‘The other thing, that I com­mend the cur­rent state govern­ment for, is the ed­u­ca­tional pol­icy and the frame­work for im­prov­ing stu­dent out­comes, FISO as it’s known.

‘‘It is an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic blue­print for ed­u­ca­tion in Vic­to­ria, and I think if the Lib­er­als had got in they would have con­tin­ued with that as it’s a bi­par­ti­san pol­icy.

‘‘It’s re­ally fan­tas­tic in sup­port­ing schools in im­prov­ing stu­dent out­comes.’’

Mr Chal­lis said in part­ing he wanted to tell stu­dents that if they worked hard they could achieve any­thing.

‘‘Noth­ing comes easy and peo­ple of­ten say ‘gee that per­son’s lucky’. But it’s not luck, it’s usu­ally be­cause there has been a lot of ef­fort put into achiev­ing a goal,’’ Mr Chal­lis said.

‘‘So my mes­sage for all stu­dents is if you dream big you can do it, if you put in the ef­fort to achieve it.

‘‘And that’s what I’d like to see them all do, to re­ally work hard to achieve their goals, as ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble.’’

Mr Chal­lis is also happy with the di­rec­tion of Be­nalla P-12 and thinks the school has a bright fu­ture.

‘‘Be­nalla P-12 is on a steep climb of im­prove­ment,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s lots of good things hap­pen­ing in the school and there has been for a long time.

‘‘In par­tic­u­lar in the last 12 months, the new prin­ci­pal Tony Clark is tak­ing it in a fan­tas­tic di­rec­tion us­ing the FISO model.

‘‘Watch this space for Be­nalla P-12. There’s been lots of money pledged in the lead up to the elec­tion and that is go­ing to be de­liv­ered now, which is a great thing for the school and the com­mu­nity.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.