Tuesday, 23 May 2017 12:14

Support Staff Contribution to the Learning Community

Everyone in our community takes active steps to learn with and from each other. Perhaps no-one in the ISP community embodies this ISP2020 strategy more than ISP’s venerable employee from our maintenance department, Milan Trunecek.

As well as his “day job,” Milan contributes in many ways to the ISP community: as an ISP parent, as a musician who plays regularly at ISP events, as a builder who helps create theatre sets and robotics components and even as a demonstrator of how to safely make and extinguish campfires for our curious Kindergarten students!

A shining example of Milan’s flexibility, energy and boundless willingness to help and share his knowledge and skills came during a Grade 9 Stretch Day. The students awaited a lesson with a visiting artist/sculptor to learn what it takes to work with wood. Unfortunately, at the last minute the visiting expert cancelled due to illness. Without hesitation, Milan stepped in and delivered the woodworking lesson himself.

Milan began by familiarising students with basic safety rules related to work with milling and drilling machines, as well as hand tools. He demonstrated rudimentary woodworking techniques to the students and afterwards encouraged them to work with the tools themselves under his supervision. Milan worked with the students at their own levels, teaching new skills, and encouraging them to keep trying when a part of a project was difficult.

For some of the Grade 9 students, it was the first time in their life they had used woodworking machine or performed an apparently straightforward task like hammering a nail into wood. Just as important as these practical skills learned, however, is the realization that the more we have individuals within our community share their expertise and experiences, the more ISP can truly be greater than the sum of its parts.