Ti­maru boys’ high school

REC­TOR – DAVID THORP

Latitude Magazine - - FEATURE -

Teach­ing was a very left field choice for me. How­ever, it is a choice that I have never re­gret­ted, not even for a mo­ment.

I grew up in Oa­maru and at­tended Waitaki Boys’ High School where there was a real em­pha­sis on sport and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and I made life­long friend­ships. I en­joyed my aca­demic classes, es­pe­cially English. How­ever, the 1970s were a dif­fer­ent time and I never gave any thought to fur­ther study – jobs were plen­ti­ful and well-pay­ing, and I left at the end of Form 6 for a ca­reer in the rail­ways.

One thing that stayed with me after I left school was that I liked to read. Years later, in my thir­ties, I de­cided to fol­low my love of nov­els and at­tempt a BA at Can­ter­bury Uni­ver­sity. I was late to ed­u­ca­tion but it had a pro­found ef­fect on me. It was a rev­e­la­tion and a tes­ta­ment to the transforma­tive power of ed­u­ca­tion.

Higher ed­u­ca­tion doesn’t make you a bet­ter per­son and it’s not for ev­ery­one, but for some peo­ple, like me, it can in­stil a sense of pur­pose. My new love of learn­ing quickly pro­pelled me to­wards a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion. As a teacher, I love that mo­ment when a stu­dent fi­nally gets some dif­fi­cult con­cept. Even if they are never go­ing to carry on with an aca­demic life, this mo­ment is a thing of beauty that can change lives. It makes young peo­ple feel that they are part of that wider world of cu­rios­ity and won­der. I fi­nally felt that at 35 – I want all stu­dents to feel it while they are still at school.

At Ti­maru Boys’ High, we know that boys will en­gage with learn­ing when they have a pos­i­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ship with their teach­ers. We aim to pro­vide a sup­port­ive and nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment so that all stu­dents can reach their full po­ten­tial. At TBHS, boys have a huge range of ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties to choose from, and we are con­vinced that these pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences lead to im­proved aca­demic and well­be­ing out­comes.

Boys who come to our school in­stantly feel part of a warm and open com­mu­nity, but they are en­cour­aged to re­tain their unique iden­tity as an in­di­vid­ual. My own ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney was in­ter­rupted by an in­abil­ity to see be­yond my im­me­di­ate hori­zon. As a Rec­tor, it is my job to en­sure that our stu­dents never suf­fer from such blink­ered vi­sion. At Ti­maru Boys’ we want ev­ery stu­dent to fol­low the ed­u­ca­tional path­way that best suits their dreams and abil­i­ties, and we want to help them de­velop into happy, pos­i­tive and pur­pose­ful young men.

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