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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools


TCS Excellence Awards- Bill Thomson (Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, major sponsor); finalist, Katrina Walton (Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby); award recipient, Chris Bartlett (Mater Dei Primary School); Dr Pat Coughlan (Executive Director: Toowoomba Catholic Schools)

Toowoomba Catholic Schools congratulates Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) on 50 years of upholding and improving the standards of the teaching profession.  The QCT and the Toowoomba Catholic Schools system align in their ambition to have high quality teachers in every classroom.

I recall a mentor early in my career stating, “You have to be smart or very hard working, preferably both, to succeed in this profession.  If you are neither you are signing up for a lifetime of misery and disappointment!”   I’m not sure I fully understood the severity of this statement at the time. Understanding teaching as a profession grew on me as I survived and thrived from year to year.

I have learned that professionals have a mandate to acknowledge and enact the distinct theory and practice of the profession they have joined and to continually improve, to collaborate, contribute to and learn from each other’s experiences. It is a hefty responsibility, but that is what professionals do.

There is little doubt that significant change has occurred in the teaching profession beyond the frequently toted increasing workload and overcrowded curriculum. The opening of classroom doors, the value being placed on evidence based practices, the move away from the individual artisan to Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE) and, the value of social capital — have in my mind, been the big rocks of change in the profession.

Having quality teachers in classrooms cannot be left to chance. I have more than once come across a parent who said, “My child has ‘Mr Smith’ this year, it’s our turn to have him, I understand you can’t always have a good teacher.”  This brings a cringe to most of us in the profession.  The QCT is doing their best to ensure ordinary teachers have nowhere to hide in the profession by supporting systems with appropriate registration requirements and consequences for poor performance. On that point we are also aligned… every teacher should be good teacher.  

Leaders in the profession have learned that policy and governance documentation and colourful position papers, do little more than gather dust in the Principal’s office.  We have learned that systems that can offer time and resources to coaching and modelling, to supporting networks of schools, that share their practises and evidence of impact, are the key ingredients for moving from good to great.  Teachers who enjoy their work, teachers who delight in the company of each other and their collegial leadership teams, teachers who revel in the joy of seeing students succeed — this is the magic of the profession, this is the service we give to our future world.

Congratulations to the QCT on 50 years of protecting and promoting the teaching profession!

Jim Midgley
Director: Teaching and Learning
Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools