Humans of St John’s
Welcome to the first edition of Humans of St John’s featuring Deputy Principal Curriculum and Innovation, Mr Andrew Landroth.
I was born on the Sunshine Coast and grew up in a rural backdrop not far from Gympie. Coming from a farming family has had a huge influence on my outlook on life, particularly from the perspective of fairness, social justice, resilience and a fair go. As a child, I played most sports, but found an affinity for tennis and golf. I also played the Scottish bagpipes to the extent of competing in competitions around South-east Queensland.
Upon completing High School, I moved to Brisbane to commence studying at The University of Queensland. As a lifelong learner, I have studied degrees in Science and Education, as well as a post-graduate qualification in Education and a Master of Education. I am presently enrolled as a PhD student.
Prior to becoming a teacher, I had a brief career in Scientific research, both at the University of Queensland and the CSIRO. One interesting piece of research involved dissecting thousands of fleas as part of a project looking at the possibility of developing a flea vaccine for cats and dogs.
As a teacher, my teaching areas are Science and Biology as well as Middle School Mathematics. Recently I had an opportunity to be an author and consultant for Pearson Education’s Senior Biology textbooks for the new Queensland Syllabus.
As a Level Two qualified tennis coach, I had the opportunity to live and work overseas, spending a year in Helsinki, Finland. This also gave me insight into why the Finnish education system is frequently heralded as the best in the world. I also lived for three years in Lima, Peru; my wife’s birth country as a teacher at an elite private school. During that time, Guinea Pig was often on the menu!
Apart from sports such as tennis, golf and snooker, I also enjoy watching Formula One motor racing and have not missed a race since 1996. I find it fascinating that each year the rule makers change the rules in an effort to make the cars slower, only to find that within a few races in the new season, the engineers have been able to find ways to make the cars faster yet again.
I value reading with John Steinbeck, Somerset Maugham and Dorothy L. Sayers, to name a few of my favourite authors. Books do something a movie can never do; they allow you to create the reality alluded to in a good book. Reading a book is an active pastime; watching a movie is passive in comparison. Having said that I also love a good movie. My Fair Lady, Driving Miss Daisy and Citizen Kane being some of my all-time favourites.
From my perspective, teaching is the most important profession in the world. It is also the most enjoyable. As today’s children are the adults of the future, teachers play a very important role in providing them with the tools via which they can construct that future. The role of a teacher is multi-faceted; a teacher can be a counsellor, a guide, a sounding board and someone who a student can trust. One of the most important roles of a teacher is to assist students in being able to access new knowledge and skills in a way that no technology can. A good teacher understands their students, knows what makes them tick and can deftly connect new skills and knowledge to what a student already knows and values.
My goal for St John’s is to be part of a team which allows the college to provide a world-class learning environment where students and teachers are able to achieve more than they have ever dreamt of, and where opportunities never before considered can become a reality.