I welcome you to explore the many possibilities at Yarra Valley Grammar.
The most important element a school can offer is the excellence of its teachers. Teaching and learning is the ‘main game’. This doesn’t happen by chance but rather through careful recruitment, systematic ongoing training, professional and personal development and providing teachers with an interesting and engaging place to teach.
In terms of recruitment, we seek teachers who are experts in their field. This includes having a passion for the subjects they are teaching because this passion will be passed on to their students. The best way to determine if a teacher is passionate is to get them talking about their subject and the classes they have taught. This enthusiasm is a key element of a great teacher. The second element to look for is the teacher who genuinely loves to work with young people. It is the teacher who can establish a great working relationship with students and colleagues who is the greatest asset to any school. They are the ones who encourage the reluctant, celebrate success, include everyone in the room and inject some humour into their work. Students come to their classes because they want to learn and because the teacher is truly interested in their wellbeing and their learning. We are also blessed with dedicated teams who work behind the scenes to look after our beautiful school environment and support our teachers in their work.
At Yarra Valley Grammar we acknowledge that education is a rapidly changing medium. For this reason, teacher professional learning and personal development are key elements of school life. Each year, every teacher receives feedback from peers and students as to how their classes are travelling. This allows my colleagues to consider what is working well and what needs to be further developed. The teachers then devise their own learning plans for the next year to strengthen those things that are working well and work on those areas that have been identified as needing further development. Great teachers are great learners. In this way they continually adapt to the changing needs of the classroom and model to their students what is to be an effective learner.
Principals can build wonderful new buildings and provide great facilities for the Arts and the sporting program. We are particularly blessed with great facilities here at Yarra Valley Grammar. But students will only want to come to school and learn if we genuinely care about them and have something valuable to teach. It is the strength of this relationship which is the hallmark of any great school.
Yarra is a very welcoming community. I invite you to learn more about this great school.
Dr Mark Merry