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Teacher Tuesday: David White

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Mr David White is proof that with passion and determination, it is never too late for a career change. Starting at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School (BCGS) nine years ago, Mr White has had many memorable moments in his time here and is enjoying his new role as Director of Studies.

After some Europe travels in my mid-twenties and some years working in retail and sales, I decided to quit full-time work, sell my unit and went to university full-time. It was not easy, but it worked out pretty well.

I started teaching after some positive comments from Perth cricketing mates. I had just completed a Bachelor of Business and was looking for the next step, when a few teachers at the cricket club mentioned how good the career is and how they thought I would be suited to being a teacher.

That was when the luck started. During my Diploma of Education, I applied for a scholarship to teach anywhere in Western Australia for three years. The scholarship testing and interview took place early on a Monday morning after a one-day cricket final. In hindsight, it was good to leave the celebrations early, as my application was successful. I delivered a lesson on the importance of playing team sport for my Mathematics scholarship! Before I received my final results, Albany Senior High School had contacted me and I spent an awesome four years in the Great Southern.

My family and I intended to make Bunbury our home at some stage and it happened a little sooner than expected. I had an informal chat with the intimidating Dr Bruce Matthews in mid-2009 about a potential role at the School due to upcoming staff retirements. I spent a year at both Australind Senior High School and Manea Senior College before starting at BCGS in 2012.

I really enjoyed my schooling. l had some great role models and a large number of my cricketing mates also went into the teaching field. I instantly enjoyed the job and for a little while, regretted not doing it sooner. I was 34 years old when I started but realised it is never too late for a career change.

I like helping young adults and if I can have a positive influence on any or all students then that is very satisfying.

For me every day is a highlight. I enjoyed organising a successful Business and Economics tour to the United States of America even though I did not attend. I have enjoyed every camp, Craft Fair and every entrepreneurial activity that has occurred over the years. I still cannot believe how successful students were last year at the Boyanup Farmers Market. It was great watching Connor Blakely and Ethan Maguire run around during a Melbourne Football tour in 2013 under the guidance of Mr Brad Goerling and Mr Adrian Bandy. A tour of the Geelong Football club and attending the ANZAC Day clash was pretty good too.

Playing the first game of cricket on the Grammar turf was pretty special after Father Geoff blessed the deck and getting a delivery pass Mark Stapleton’s solid defence was a definite highlight. The bails ended up 30 metres towards the boundary!

Coaching Girls AFL for many years and winning a few competitions along the way brings back some fond memories. The biggest would have to be a one-point victory over Margaret River in the 2016 Grand Final after getting beaten by 10 goals in the second semi-final by the same team. The premiership cup went missing for a few weeks after the game (Tiffany!). It was a pleasure to be involved in the Grammar AFLW. We have had some outstanding young men and women represent the School in all sports over the years.

I also enjoy driving the bus to Perth for Mock Trials and umpiring School football games occasionally when the players do not give me too much grief.

Late last year, I was absolutely honoured to be appointed as the Director of Studies for 2021. It took some time to sink in but has been awesome so far. My peers have been understanding and very supportive. I enjoy the variety of the role and really enjoy the analytical aspects. I enjoy the busyness and thankfully I can still teach the Year 11 and 12 Accounting and Finance courses.

Like Bruce McAvaney, I feel like I have not yet reached my peek. My goals are pretty easy – continue to enjoy life, get better at my job, get better at the third space and build a bigger home for my kids. Hopefully, finish my Master’s degree in the next few years too.

My usual response to anyone that asks how I am going is: “Top of the world, mate”.

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