A COLAC teacher has gained recognition for dedication to student wellbeing.
Ken Morgan, 63, earned a nomination from his school Colac Specialist School for a national award, the 2014 Positive Teacher.
He said his involvement in his school’s “comprehensive wellbeing and social and emotional learning program” helped earn him the nomination.
“The things I’ve particularly been involved in is I’ve instituted a junior advisory group at school for children to have experience in a leadership role,” he said.
“We also have a community connections program involving partnerships with the CFA, Colac Otway Shire and Colac Indoor Sports Centre.
“We do a range of activities like maintaining the picnic area at the bird reserve at Lake Colac and painting and refurbishing CFA posts around the district.
“Our programs are all about hands-on stuff, and so children have a sense of pride and ownership over what we are doing,” he said.
“We have some really good programs running, which are fully supported by a fantastic staff; the old saying there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.
“The whole thing is not just one person, everybody is involved in the program,” he said.
Mr Morgan said he had retired after 30 years teaching at Colac South West Primary when he received an invitation to work part-time at Colac Specialist School, where he has been for seven years.
“By chance and coincidence I was offered two days a week – now I work three days a week there,” Mr Morgan said.
“I had always had a fair bit to do with children with disability in mainstream school, it was a bit of a natural progression for me,” he said.
Mr Morgan said he was honoured to receive a nomination among 800 teachers Australia-wide, and while he failed to win the award, he gained entry to next week’s Positive Schools conference at Melbourne Convention Centre as part of the nomination.
He said he was looking forward to the two-day conference on student mental health and wellbeing.
“It will be excellent, meeting lots of people and a chance to get new ideas,” he said.
“It will be hard to pick which of the workshops to go to – there’s so much there it will be a matter of getting the vibes on the day which ones to go to.”