Mr Tristan Hill graduated from Monash University with an honours degree in History (his thesis was on the political philosophy of Abraham Lincoln) and a double major in History and Philosophy. He has taught at Scotch for five years, and currently teaches Years 10, 11 and 12 Philosophy and Year 7 English and History. It is a particularly exciting year for Mr Hill, as he is getting married in the middle of the year.
There is little better in our profession than that moment when you can see that everything makes sense to your student. It is that moment when everything you have just said – all the analogies to whatever pop culture reference you can muster at short notice, and all those notes you insisted that the students write at the start of the lesson, fall into place. It is something like a light-bulb moment but this analogy falls short of the realisation one has.
Maybe my own analogy would help: remember when you were little and you were ripping the stuffing out of a pillow? (I’m not the only one who did this, right?) For a few joyful and frenzied moments it is just you throwing stuffing into the air. You can’t see anything in the hazy glory of the room full of stuffing. And then you stop for a moment, and the stuffing settles. You can see everything – covered in stuffing, of course, but you can see the whole room again. You are puffing, but you are still and content and realise where everything is and how it all falls into place and what has just happened. That is how I would describe the feeling I see in the eyes of my students – especially in teaching Philosophy. That is what keeps you coming back for more stuffing.
There was one History class where we made model Greek boats and tried to float them on water in tubs. That silenced my young critics who thought history was boring! Then there was seeing one of the most dramatic and dynamic students I have taught on stage in Pinocchio last year. He was amazing and so natural on stage. And, of course, there was the time where I was caught having a lightsaber fight with a tree on Year 7 camp when all the boys were supposed to be asleep. But honestly, how do you tag down the all the wonderful people, the bright relationships and the warm community of a school like this into a few memorable moments? They are all memorable moments.
I look for a sense of personal responsibility in my students. This is the recognition that each student has a responsibility to himself, to his friends and classmates and to his other teachers to make the best of what he can be. Indeed, I strongly believe that inculcating an attitude of responsibility for oneself and other people is the most important thing we can teach boys. Personal growth is an understanding that the importance of one’s own rise is nothing if you are not able to make the environment and lives of those around you better.
I have been a Year 7 form teacher for five years now and it is by far the most enjoyable, rewarding and interesting part of my job. It is a real privilege to know these boys and know them well. I see this form teacher role as being primarily pastoral in nature, and this sometimes means advocating my students for certain jobs and responsibilities like class captains or sport captains. These opportunities offer students a unique challenge to coordinate other people, and carry out varied administrative roles which require advanced organisational skills.
I have also been involved in the Scotch College Army Cadet Unit for five years, but only the last two or so as an Officer of Cadets. I recently was promoted to the rank of 2nd lieutenant which means I will now seek to develop more of a presence within the platoon I have been posted to, in coordinating and encouraging the skills of those student leaders with whom I work.
I like to think I have varied interests! I have a beautiful pug, a very loud parrot and a Stimson’s python named Jafar. I love to play new release console and computer games. In addition, I love to read new books and usually have about five or so going at once. My library consists of many, many philosophy books (Nietzsche and de Botton being two of my favourite authors), a growing science fiction and fantasy collection and many history books (the US Civil War, ancient Egypt, Buddhism, popular science and comics being some of my favourite selections).
I enjoy travelling overseas and am looking forward to my honeymoon to Greece later this year to visit, in person, some of the sights I have been talking about in Year 7 History class. Finally, I love pulpy movies and I also collect watches.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)