Sorry, this is going to be boring, but just had to write
something about it.
I recently re-discovered the badge I gained when
attending Burwood Teachers’ College, way back when. The Latin inscription reads: ‘Animum Cultum Parabo’, words which formed the introductory part of the College song (or anthem). Following the Latin words, we sang, ‘foundations firm we lay…’. I guess that was what we aspired to do as future teachers. I hope I did lay a few ‘firm foundations’.
Some translations: Animum (translated form the Latin): mind/intellect/soul.
I can only hope that during my many teaching days, I did manage to cultivate and prepare some minds. I think I did, but can never be sure of how much.
I undertook teacher ‘training’ via (firstly) a year in a school as a student teacher (no doubt referred to as an internship nowadays) followed by three years at Teachers’ College. Procedures changed not long after I finished college and that place of learning turned into Deakin University and the students then graduated with either a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) or a Bachelor of Education. These qualifications give a more scholarly and accomplished impression than the ‘Trained Infant Teachers’Certificate’ with which I graduated. But I do wonder if these latest teachers are as grounded in the ‘nitty gritty’ of teaching as we earlier graduates were.
Does a grander sounding graduate title make a better teacher?
As a footnote: Times of singing the College song – and the college song itself - vanished with the change to the ‘new’ university life; students no longer gather on Wednesday mornings to sing the anthem and enjoy a morning of togetherness, with singing and talking and (yes, even) some entertainment. People are a lot more insular, it seems, and each student does their best (or
not) in their own way.
I guess that’s progress.
PS: The 1954 inscription on the badge does not indicate the year I graduated (!), but the year the college was formed.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.