John Allen, Master of the Middle School
While most of us think a teacher’s role is simply to share knowledge and to help students learn, the reality is that a teacher is so much more to his or her students. Teachers set the tone in the classroom – they must be carer, mentor, disciplinarian, role model, crowd controller, nurse and confidant. They must walk the fine line between providing praise for a job well done, and spurring students on to reach their full potential.
At Trinity Grammar School, we take pride in the quality and dedication of our excellent academic staff. Today our teacher in profile is John Allen, Master of the Middle School.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Movement and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Technology, John set out on his chosen career path in education, commencing his journey at Caroline Chisholm College at Glenmore Park, followed by a stint at De La Salle College in Ashfield.
“The thing that drove me towards a career in education was the prospect of being able to impact the growth and development of young people. To know that I can influence an individual and help shape his character in terms of learning and development is hugely rewarding,” said John.
Former ACT Brumbies and Wallaby Captain Brett Robinson encouraged John to apply for a course and scholarship at the prestigious Oxford University in England. Successful in his application for both, John gained entry to the university and won a Major Stanley Scholarship for Rugby. While there John completed a Masters of Science in the Medicine for Athletic Performance.
On his return to Australia, John joined Trinity Grammar School as the Director of Cricket Coaching and PDHPE Teacher and has never looked back. His Oxford Masters qualification has been put to good use at Trinity where John has taught Sports, exercise and health science (International Baccalaureate), administered sport and coached Cricket and 1st XV Rugby. Now in his 14th year with the School, John has filled a variety of roles. “I’ve been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to lead some significant portfolios at Trinity,” commented John.
John says that the thing he enjoys most about teaching, apart from helping students academically, is watching them develop as people. “I really enjoy working with young people to help them discover their strengths, and nurture them in a whole range of areas – not only as academic learners – but more importantly, to develop boys of good character as this will help them in a variety of arenas, whether it be on the sports field, in employment, or simply in life.”
Asked about the challenges of his role, John says the main culprit is time. “Unfortunately, time is limited and there never seems to be enough to dedicate to all the projects that we’d like. It has been challenging making judgement calls on what to invest time in, and deciding what will have the biggest impact on the boys' growth and development.”
Outside of teaching, John says his lifetime highlights include having a family, maintaining good lifelong friendships, playing representative rugby and studying at Oxford University.
While his teaching credentials are world-class, we asked John some personal questions about his life outside the classroom – here’s a snapshot.
Family: I have a fantastic wife and three wonderful young children; two boys aged ten and nine, and a six-year old daughter.
Favourite activities: I love to relax with my family and friends by sharing a meal and good conversation. I also enjoy watching sport and reading.
Favourite team/s: I’m a Parramatta Eels fan and I also follow the ACT Brumbies, Waratahs, Australian cricket team and Davis Cup team.
Ideal dinner guest: It’s hard to choose just one, so I’m choosing a whole dinner party. I’d invite Steve Smith former Australian cricketer so that I could ask him to explain what he did and why in regard to the ball tampering saga. I’d like my two boys to be there too as they cite Steve as their favourite player – I’d like them to sit and talk with Steve about what happened. I’d invite Jerry Seinfeld for his wit and humour and I’d also have Lord Butler there. Lord Butler was the former Master of University College at Oxford University and he was a cabinet secretary to three different governments in Britain. He’s had some extraordinary experiences and I’m drawn to his wonderful generosity, humour and humility.
Career aspirations as a child: As a child I wanted to play cricket for Australia, but I also wanted to be a teacher, so I’m fortunate that I got to do one of those two things! If I wasn’t a teacher, I’d be in sports coaching or administration.
Not many people know: that when I was in my latter years of high school and into university I worked part-time in cleaning and maintenance.
To meet our exceptional teachers, and to learn more about the Trinity difference and how we guide boys to realise their potential, passions and purpose in life, register for our upcoming Open Day.