Welcome to Week 2! In my newsletter last week, I announced that one of our long standing teachers was retiring on Friday 1 November. I was fortunate enough this week to spend some quality time with Michael Boreham and asked a number of questions about his career, memories and advice for young people in the future. Here is my interview.
Mr Michael Boreham, Teaching Career, 1985-2019
How long have you been a teacher for and where was your first permanent appointment?
My career has spanned 35 years with the Department of Education, with my first appointment as a Mathematics / Computing Teacher at Bombala High School in 1985. During my university training, computer education had just started to emerge as a new subject in education and I leapt at the opportunity to teach it. I wrote the school’s very first computer teaching and learning programs prior to the Department of Education releasing a syllabus document for it.
I decided to move from Bombala after 6 years and arrived at Westport Campus in 1991. Only a year later, I was transferred to Port Macquarie High School and never left.
What have been your fondest memories of teaching?
There are many highs and lows of education. I’ve learnt that if you can’t find something positive in someone, you cannot teach them. My focus has always been on the students and supported educational theory. I’ve always reminded myself about why I wanted to teach. I have tried to make school a little more enjoyable than it was for students before them. That’s my job.
I’ve also enjoyed the variety of subjects I have been fortunate enough to teach. These have included Mathematics, Computers, Multimedia, Mandatory Technology and Information Processing Technology.
What advice would you give young teachers just starting in the profession?
I have supervised a number of early career teachers and practicum teachers and the one piece of advice I give to all of them is to always remember why you wanted to teach in the first place. That’s your motivation to come to school every day. My motivation for becoming a teacher was to try and make school a little bit more enjoyable for all students. I didn’t have the most positive experiences at school when I was a child. My motivation to become a teacher was to make sure that students I taught did have a better experience.
If you lose your motivation to teach, it’s time to get out.
What are your plans for the future?
For the next 18 months, my plan is to take the accelerator off and completely immerse myself in the many things I need to do at home. These include continuing to breed fish and turtles, garden, landscape and complete any maintenance works. I’ll also keep busy visiting family and friends.
On behalf of the entire school community I extend my sincere thanks to you, Michael, for the outstanding contribution you have made to the many lives of young people in this community. You will be greatly missed.
Left to right - Mr Littlefair and Mr Boreham
Port Macquarie Rotary
On Wednesday evening I attended a Port Macquarie Rotary meeting with Mark White and Alison Black. I was asked to give a short description of my journey to Principalship and outline my vision for this campus. We have had a longstanding relationship with Rotary and they have graciously supported the school in an enormous range of programs over the years. Thank you to all members, particularly Bob Cleland, Dianna Gamon, Gil Paradin-Innes and Elizabeth Fielding for making me feel so welcome. I intend to return.
Interschool Competition with Dubbo
Last week over 50 students from our campus participated in an Inter school sport competition in Dubbo. The accompanying teachers were Mr Huens, Mr Sanderson and Miss Perkins. I am told our students participated exceptionally well but, above all, represented our college with pride. They were gracious, well mannered and sportmanlike. Congratulations to all involved!
To our Year 12 students, you are nearly there! Keep studying, don’t give up! We are here for you.