November Blog: Author Interview
Author Interview – Ken Darvall (Literary Titan)
The Teaching Guarantee is a collection of lessons learned over 50 years of working in the school system, starting as a teacher, moving into administration, and becoming a principal. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Experience is a wonderful thing! During my 50 years in education, I have enjoyed educational leadership experiences covering all educational sectors in Australia and overseas, including primary, secondary and international schools, training organisations, international business colleges, school quality assurance reviews and tertiary study abroad programs.
Many lessons have been learnt over this time and I wanted to share these as I believe many teachers and prospective principals may benefit from the various aspects that I discuss. As I mention in the book, the clues are within.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Life is full of challenges and opportunities, and teaching and school leadership provide them by the bucket load. It is not an easy job, but every day is guaranteed to be different and full of special moments and memories.
Like every day is different, so is every child and every school. So, constantly challenge yourself to improve what you do.
Embrace change so that the students you teach will enjoy change, rather than shun it.
Get as many varied experiences as possible in different learning environments and communities.
Challenge yourself when leadership opportunities arise.
Always remember you are a role model; as a teacher for your students and as a Principal for your school community.
When difficult moments arise, remain calm and resolute.
Always fair but firm, and everyone will respect you for your consistency.
Never lose your sense of humour.
Your wellbeing is sacrosanct, so always remain balanced.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were a younger teacher and just starting out?
Experience IB (International Baccalaureate) education as soon as you can and travel the world as part of your IB journey.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from the experiences you share in this book?
Teaching is a vocation, but it is not for everyone. While salaries may not be attractive or reflect your real worth, the joy you receive at the end of each year when you reflect on the impact you make on each of your students is priceless! It is what teaching and school leadership are all about—making a difference!