Jan Brady

Demonstrating how I meet the Professional Standards of
Criterium d.2

Every single individual, regardless of their age, background, socio-economic status, religion, knowledge, interests and understanding has his or her own set of values within which each lives their lives. These values have been and are shaped by the people around them whether family or community based and, in modern society, encompass an enormous range of experiences.

I see my role as a Teacher at The Hills Grammar School is to uphold the commonly held beliefs inherent in the School and the wider School Community.

Regardless of their differences I endeavour to treat all students justly and equitably and meet all the statutory, legal and ethical obligations as a teacher to the best of my ability. I make myself aware of changes to laws and expectations in regard to interactions between Teachers and Students by reading professional material distributed through the School, the Board of Studies and the Union. I attend inservices on matters as wide ranging as Bullying in School to Dealing with the ADHD student and Recognising and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect. I utilise the information contained on our intranet Education Support Website to familiarise myself with the special needs of my students. I have deliberately sought out information regarding the cultural requirements and expectations of our multicultural students and have been able to give specialised support and information when needed.

In 1999, when my then Head of Department was on exchange, and I was Acting Head of Department, we had an exchange teacher from Portland, Oregon, USA take his place. One of my students, a Lebanese Muslim boy, came to me for help and advice on who to see to get work for the following week as he had to go to Melbourne. He was anxious not to miss any work but had no choice about being away. During the conversation it emerged that his future wife had come out from Lebanon and he had to go to Melbourne to spend time with her to go through the appropriate betrothal ceremonies and that she would then come to live with his family until they were married when he finished the Higher School Certificate. He was at the beginning of his Year 10 studies at the time. After our conversation had finished and I had given him a list of the people he would have to see and the material he would need, he left. The exchange teacher was astonished by the conversation I had had with the student. Until he arrived at our school he had never had a conversation with a Muslim let alone one so intimate. He was surprised by how much I knew and understood about the requirements of their customs and it led on to extensive discussions about multiculturalism, tolerance and understanding which are inherent in some parts of Australia and some Australians but which are, almost, anathema, to conservative Americans. Two years later, the exchange teacher returned to Australia for holidays, visited the school and remarked to those present that he still remembered these exchanges in the office that day.

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