SUPPORTIVE: School of Total Education principal Shane Power.
SUPPORTIVE: School of Total Education principal Shane Power. Deanna Millard

Happy students are attentive learners

“WHEN children are happy, they feel they can achieve anything,” says 2014 Victorian Primary Principal of the Year Esther Wood.

“Everything flows from happiness,” she said.

At the School of Total Education, they couldn’t agree more, which is why a huge emphasis goes into making learning fun.

The teacher’s role is to engage with the children and really get to know them. This knowledge helps the teacher work out how each child learns and what interests them.

“By working through what captures the children’s imagination, the teacher does not need to force the child but instead leads them,” principal Shane Power said.

The Total Education philosophy holds that every child has a gift and it is the teacher’s job to help the child unwrap it. The sense of self worth and satisfaction a child receives from doing something they connect with and enjoy cannot be overestimated.

“You see it then flow over into other areas of the child’s school life. All their academic work picks up as does their general self confidence,” he said.

As the children grow and mature into young adults, they take more responsibility for their own learning. Their motivation becomes intrinsic, based on their own desire to learn and achieve a level of excellence.

This can be contrasted with the student who is working to fulfil teacher or family expectations or the need to be better than others.

“What we ultimately want are young people who have the confidence to have a go and achieve but are contented with their efforts and happy for the successes of others as well,” Mr Power said.

“This approach has been developed and refined in the school over many years. An important part of my job is to preserve and nurture this unique feature of our school.”



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