From the Deputy Principal
“In Profile” August 2018
I am fortunate to work with staff who are dynamic, highly committed educators, dedicated to exploring best teaching practices and genuinely interested in the welfare of each student entrusted to their care. Over the coming terms, I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the members of the Teaching and Learning Committee as we profile different staff each fortnight.
Dan Crane – Learning Area Leader, Humanities
Favourite Things to Do: Running, Cooking, Listening to Music, and spending time playing games like Snakes & Ladders and MarioKart with my wife, Stacey and my son, Jack…some of these things are combined!
Down Time: Besides the above, watching Football (Soccer) and Football (AFL), I love a good autobiography of a musical hero as well!
Favourite Food: Cheese
Favourite Sport: Football…’Soccer’ and AFL.
Favourite OS destination: Copenhagen, Denmark…just!
Other Interests: I love to do a bit of creative writing and wine tasting in the McLaren Vale is a nice way to spend an afternoon
Recent Movie Favourites: Incredibles 2, Paddington 2, Dunkirk and Black Panther.
Favourite Books: About a Boy, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, 1984
Recommended Viewing: Line of Duty (UK Police series)
What led to your interest in Humanities?
I have always been interested in this amazing world in which we live….as long as I can remember my love for Humanities has been this way. As a consequence of moving between England and Australia several times in my life, along with other travels, the need to know what is going on, and why, has only become increasingly important to me.
Although Geography is what I prefer to teach, I adore and appreciate all the Humanities subjects, and personally love reading Historical texts. A wise mentor of mine always said that you can’t be a great Geographer without being a Historian and vice versa….and I still live by that today! There are also the connections between Humanities and other areas, such as Urban Design….I’m amazed by some of the brilliant structures humans can create, and the way they make people feel. Psychogeography is a fascinating field.
Did you always want to become a teacher?
I had the choice of studying Architecture or Journalism when I completed Year 12 back in the early 1990s, but was concerned by the lack of career prospects in the short-mid-term. So, as a start, I studied a Bachelor of Arts and majored in Population Geography, Modern American History and Media. I always wanted to return to England where I had lived as a young child, so then completed a Grad Dip Ed….the love of my subjects and a willingness to help others learn motivated me, as well as the career opportunities for me to live in England. I moved to London in early 1999 and stayed there for 7 years, teaching for 5 and a half of these.
How has your career progressed?
I taught in various places in London and England from 1999 to late 2004. I spent the last two years at a fantastic School for Boys in North London called Finchley Catholic. I then had the opportunity to recruit and provide professional development for other Australian-trained teachers, and felt like a new challenge. This also allowed me to move back to Melbourne, Australia in 2006/07 where I set up an office for the same company in the Rialto in the CBD. I was going to return to England but then fell in love with my future wife, moved back to Adelaide and worked as an Education Consultant for the Department of Transport, Energy & Infrastructure (DTEI…now known as DPTI).
Here I worked for almost 5 years, with other seconded roles for Sustainability Victoria and in the Strategic Planning team at the city of Port Adelaide Enfield. Whilst studying a Post Grad in Urban Planning, which I loved, I also discovered that I missed teaching ( I was working with international students). So, in 2013, I returned and enjoyed 3 brilliant years at Heathfield High School, a progressive and successful school in the Adelaide Hills. Whilst amazing, particularly the pride I had in leading the senior school in 2015, the opportunity to join Pulteney in late 2015 was too good an opportunity to pass up. I have adored working for Pulteney ever since – I am a very lucky teacher to be here!
What have been the highlights of working at Pulteney?
The way in which I have met and worked with amazing people throughout the school, everybody is passionate about their role and what’s clear is the way people support each other. Personally, I have found that I have learnt so much….a key point to teaching that I will reiterate further later.
The ultimate ‘highlight’ without a doubt is the students. Besides the range of talents, the kindness and humour that they constantly present, I really do feel that they are fantastic custodians for the future of our planet. And as a father of a 6 year old son, this makes me feel very happy indeed.
Personally, the field trips in Geography and Tourism (both short and day long) have been brilliant as per the photo below with my lovely Year 12 Tourism class, but the best experience overall has been coaching the 2nd eleven Football (soccer) in the past two years, after a fun year coaching the Middle A girls in 2016. I also can’t comment about highlights without mentioning the amazing experience of getting to know the wonderful young adults that comprise CN12 over the past three years.
What are you excited about?
All of the cross curricular learning activities across the school, and how Humanities can collaborate with other learning areas even more specifically, and also other initiatives such as the Year 6 visit to Canberra….along with the opportunities for subject specific excursions and field trips to expand even further
Further developments to the schools learning spaces are also going to be intriguing…. there have already been so many brilliant changes in the school’s learning spaces and the evolution of PGS beyond 2018 is something that will be enjoyed by all in the years to come!
What would be your best career advice to a beginning teacher?
Ensure that you continue to learn - the best teachers should always have the desire to learn more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the necessary, but on occasions, tiresome and time demanding admin in our profession, whilst also ensuring effective delivery of ACARA and SACE curriculum…so try to get support with the admin (teachers love to help others) and remember that with regards to the curriculum, ensure that it works for you, rather than the other way around.
Most importantly though, get to know your colleagues (both staff and students and families). A school community is a huge resource and so pivotal to success… and building relationships is a key way to becoming part of it, so embrace opportunities to mingle, especially co-curricular!
What does Humanities learning mean to you?
Humanities is about our amazing world in which we live. To me it is imperative that all people have an appreciation and some understanding of this…otherwise we are inclined to not evolve as we should. There are some serious challenges ahead such as adapting and dealing with Climate Change and we need to be ready and understanding of these.
It is no coincidence that many of the world’s leaders in politics, business and entrepreneurship have a humanities background. And so many professions require a strong background in Humanities for an individual to be successful…some of these aren’t as obvious as you think. For example, students studying Pharmacology/Health Sciences will come across geo-spatial related population data to understand where health-related needs exist and to subsequently determine effective policy and strategies.
In future years, I believe that education will become even more holistic and the core knowledge, concepts and skills in Humanities will be absolutely essential!
Learning Area Leader, Humanities