Spotlight Grant Watson

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Mr Grant Watson began at Scotch in 2000. He came initially as a teacher of Christian Education and taught this subject across all year levels for a number of years. In 2004 he was appointed the Head of the Christian Education Department and Assistant to the Chaplain. In this role he was responsible for the ongoing development of the Christian Education curriculum and for preparing and delivering worship experiences in Memorial Hall and the Littlejohn Memorial Chapel.

In 2009 Mr Watson was appointed to the newly created senior role of Chief of Staff. He still teaches a little Christian Education as well as some Geography and History, and still has the opportunity to lead worship from time to time. However, his primary roles now include the management of the ongoing professional learning of the Senior School’s teaching staff, the administration of the internal staff development program, and being available to staff for support and guidance when required.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy and appreciate the opportunity that my Chief of Staff role provides me to relate with my colleagues frequently and at many different levels. Scotch has an extraordinarily gifted and diverse teaching faculty, and working with and supporting these colleagues is a significant privilege that I value greatly.

As a member of the chaplaincy team I appreciate the regular opportunities to lead the Scotch community, or components of it, in an experience of worship. Being able to address both staff and boys from the Memorial Hall pulpit and the Littlejohn Chapel lectern is a challenge and responsibility that I deeply respect and appreciate.

Although my class teaching time over the years has reduced to allow space for other tasks, I still enjoy the interaction in the class context with a group of Year 7 boys each year. I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to work within a teaching team at this year level, and I have consistently experienced first-hand the benefits of this approach. Sharing with colleagues the task of guiding these young boys through the often challenging experience of their initial year in the Senior School has frequently been a source of much satisfaction.

What are some memorable incidents in your career at Scotch?

More an extended experience as opposed to an ‘incident’, the various school tours that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of have been truly memorable. During my time here I have travelled to the US, Vietnam, Fiji, Egypt and various parts of Australia.

Being able to support and encourage the involvement of boys in experiences such as these has been an enormous privilege. Observing the expanding understanding of and appreciation for other cultures and peoples among the boys during these tours has been a great pleasure. The growth in knowledge and respect for other people, not to mention the enhanced sense of appreciation for the life of comparative privilege we all enjoy in Australia, is something of certain worth.

Which students’ expressions of personal growth impress you?

Having taught Year 7 students now during each of my 12 years at Scotch, I have been consistently impressed with the growth observable as they make their way through the school to Year 12. During Year 12 Speech Nights each year I look through the program, trying to identify each boy whom I taught back in Year 7. As each makes his way across the stage I feel some sense of pride as I contemplate the small contribution I made to the fine young men they have become, six years later.  

How are you involved in student forms of leadership or challenging learning?

As one of the chaplaincy team I frequently have the opportunity to encourage within boys a thoughtful response to a broad range of important life issues. In addition to leadership, other themes addressed in this way include relationships, sharing, fairness, forgiveness, justice, hope and respect, to name a few.

How do you make your ‘own space’ in the busy school week?

Monday to Friday, space for this purpose is generally limited, although I have been known to delay the trip home after school a little by occasionally sharing a drink with a few colleagues!

However, on weekends I deliberately try to set aside at least one of the two days exclusively for family and self time. This standard can be a challenge to maintain at times but achieving it is most assuredly worth the effort!