OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO TEACHING
From early morning on most school days, for decades, a much-loved teacher has worked quietly behind the scenes for his students, and tens of thousands of others across the Gold Coast, to compete in school sports.
Mr Taylor’s strong commitment as an integral player in the Gold Coast’s Associated Private Schools (APS) interschool sport competition, and his tireless performance as A.B. Paterson College’s Director of Activities, are just two of the reasons he is a finalist for the Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award.
A very humble man, Mr Taylor has been a kind, dedicated mentor to thousands of students and is widely referred to as a ‘legend’ by colleagues, parents, students and alumni – someone who always makes time to offer support, lend an ear or solve a problem.
He has been instrumental in the development of the APS interschool sport competition, which he joined in 1993. Since then, it has grown from five to eight schools, which compete in more than a dozen sports.
Mr Taylor said the competition had also played an important role in establishing school spirit at A.B. Paterson College, which was only in its third year when he arrived in 1993.
“We have send-offs for our teams, both Junior and Senior, pre-COVID of course. We’d get together in the courtyard and do school war cries. It's filled with great anticipation and even the non-athletes get behind it and wish the teams well,” Mr Taylor said.
At the College, Mr Taylor starts the school day at 7am to supervise the Running Club. He has been doing that for almost three decades. His dedication inspired senior students to organise an attendance drive for the last session of 2019 so that 191 people turned up to run.
“That was fantastic, and the kids loved getting that response from so many kids as well. There was a fair bit of walking going on up the back though,” Mr Taylor joked.
“You have to provide those opportunities for children to get their training sessions in. It's a really good thing, so together with some other dedicated staff and parents we provide an opportunity every morning because there's so much else on.”
As Director of Activities, Mr Taylor also organises and hosts the annual A.B. Paterson College Public Speaking Competition, which takes place over five evenings and involves almost 1000 students from across southeast Queensland. Teachers who take their students to the event have described the opportunities it provides as life-changing for their children.
Over the past almost 30 years, Mr Taylor has also rallied countless volunteers to undertake important facility works at the College, including laying turf on its largest oval in 2002.
“I have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the planning of those projects – being heavily involved in the implementation and to see it come to fruition has been amazing,” he said.
After decades in the teaching profession, Mr Taylor said one of the things he enjoyed most as a teacher was watching students grow.
“If you’ve got a job that's really enjoyable, it doesn't actually feel like work,” Mr Taylor said.
Winners of the TEACHX Awards will be announced on October 28, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day celebrations in Queensland. Finalists win $500 and winners $5000 for professional development.