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Catching up with Hugh Howey

He has been many things at Calrossy over many years including assistant chaplain, HSIE teacher, Acting Head of Secondary Boys, Assistant to the Head of Secondary, Head of Secondary and Acting Head of Christian Ministry and now has found his happy place teaching HSIE (Human Society and its Environment) and Christian Studies.

Hugh Howey is a country boy who grew up in Scone, his teaching career has taken him far and wide including Sydney Boys High School and two years at Iringa International School in Tanzania before he came to Calrossy.

Teaching in Tanzania was a very different experience. It was in a small international school with students from many different backgrounds and languages. He taught mainly primary school at the Year 5 level and some Business Studies and English.

What you might not know about Mr Howey is he used to be an accountant. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce, he worked for two years crunching numbers before studying his Diploma in Secondary Education. He has also completed a Preliminary Theological  Certificate through Moore College while at Calrossy. Mr Howey found Calrossy after being encouraged to apply to work there by a previous staff member- Joseph Goldsworthy. He says teaching at Calrossy appealed to him for several reasons:

“The Christian focus of the school, the location and the potential to help build a culture”.

Twelve years later Mr Howey is enjoying a different pace, he was cut back from a full-time teaching load in Calrossy Secondary, giving him more time to enjoy life and being dad, to Lachlan aged two and a half. He may look to go back to full-time in the near future.

“I have always loved sport, having played cricket and rugby in my youth. I now enjoy cycling and a game of golf when I have the time,” he says.

Unsurprisingly that means he has also had many roles over the years with the School’s sports teams. He has coached Junior boys rugby teams for the past 13 years and a few years of cricket including the Douglas and Wiburd Shield teams when the late Bruce Veitch was on leave. He currently co-coaches the Boys Under 14 rugby team.

He enjoys getting to know the students outside the classroom. Some of the expeditions and rugby trips to Sydney, which involved watching test matches, have been highlights.

In the classroom, Mr Howey says he tries to be structured and tries to apply direct teaching with modelled examples in his subject area. This term he is mostly teaching Geography.

“I think is important to use visual resources where possible. In addition, I like to use scenarios and role plays where relevant to embed information,” he explains.

He believes the key to teaching is making a connection with your students.

“Take an interest in the students and build relationships. I have had a range of mentors over my teaching career and picked up different things from them. Some of these have been classroom teaching strategies as well as communication skills for issues regarding discipline or pastoral care. But quite often I learn a lot from the students and their stories!”

His advice to students is simple.

“Do your best and be grateful for the education you have. Also balance work and play.”

While paperwork remains his least favourite part of teaching, it is the students who motivate him.

“I enjoy working with young people and seeing them grow, when you have those moments when students achieve growth, success and self-confidence- that is the reward.”

“It is a pleasure and privilege to teach, to work at Calrossy and to attempt to impart wisdom, experience and knowledge to students.”