EXCELLENT LEADERSHIP IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
Ask any of Meghan Parry’s students what they think of their Literature teacher and you might hear something along the lines of this:
"Miss Parry is dedicated, empathetic and wise. Yet in spite of all of her expertise, she allows us to poke holes in her work. Debate is actively encouraged, even when that means challenging her teaching. In those moments we all become elevated to critical reviewers and Miss Parry demands that we have our own opinion and share it unashamedly…It is my hope that I can become some imitation of her when I am older.”
As Head of Subject for Literature and a teacher in the English Faculty at Brisbane Girls Grammar School (BGGS), Meghan's love of language and literature is palpable. She recognises the central role of literacy in a broad liberal education and in the lives of her learners, and uses literary texts as vehicles for girls to hone their analytical and creative skills. Within the classroom, Meghan knows her students learn best when they are supported to think for themselves.
She is a foundational member of a team that has implemented Harvard Project Zero's initiative 'Cultures of Thinking' (CoT), working tirelessly for three years to cultivate a classroom culture where rigorous critical and creative thinking is the norm.
Meghan’s lessons can only be described as transformative. She dismantles her students’ desire for perfection and sets an example for them to show that excellent writing ability is not an innate trait. Such willingness to be vulnerable is brave and can only be successful in the safe learning environments she creates, and signals to girls that Meghan is not above making mistakes or seeking their good ideas as feedback.
Meghan recognises that leadership opportunities often come without a title, generously sharing her resources and expertise with others. Described by her colleagues as a ‘leader of learning’ and as a digital change champion, she has supported the English Faculty to leverage technology to deliver lessons, foster collaboration and report on student learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was a leader in innovative practice, supporting her colleagues and students through what was a difficult time for all.
She is also instrumental in a wide range of activities in the School's Co-Curricular Program. Meghan is teacher-in-charge of the BGGS Kirsten Jack Memorial Leukaemia Committee, which meets weekly to raise funds for blood cancer research and oversees initiatives including bake sales, raffles, and events for Daffodil and Bandanna Days.
Additionally, she is responsible for the Athene Club – a small group of students from BGGS and Brisbane Grammar School who write papers about topical issues for discussion. She believes strongly in girls having a platform to speak their truth, developing their confidence to participate in public discourse.
Last year, she accompanied students to Melbourne for the finals of the Australian Individual Public Speaking Competition and served as a judge. Moreover, as Junior Debating Manager (Year 7), Meghan also assists with the administration of one of the School's largest co-curricular activities – overseeing the Brisbane Girls Junior Debating competition between various city girls' schools. Meghan's significant contribution to the co-curricular and service life of the School gesture toward a teacher who believes that children's lives are enriched by learning in all its varied forms.
Outside her direct school community, Meghan has demonstrated leadership through her work with the QCAA and has contributed to the writing, evaluation and development of the new Senior Literature Syllabus.
In 2019, she was appointed the Lead Endorser for Literature, and in this role she supported schools to develop quality and robust assessment instruments that would enable all students to demonstrate their learning in the subject.
In 2020, as the Chief Confirmer for Literature, Meghan has been responsible for ensuring the accuracy and comparability of judgements in the subject across Queensland. At just 29 years of age, her leadership capacity is inspirational.
Congratulations Meghan on being shortlisted for the TEACHX Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.