Scots Spotlight: Mr Richard Routley

Richard Routley







Learning Area Leader – English / HSIE

What’s your background?
My background is a gloriously unplanned mess of beautiful chances and dismal failings. A private school in Melbourne (much like Scots)…an unfinished attempt at a performing arts degree… three years wandering in Africa and throughout Australia…a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University (driving taxis night shift to support myself, pretentious opinions in English tutorials, full-throated dogmatism in political debates, and directing student theatre for the Shakespeare Society)… a post study ‘need a job – any job’tumble into building industry management in the glorious largess of the late 80’s economic boom… fourteen years feeding at the corporate trough and climbing the greasy pole (National Sales and Marketing Manager…Masters Degree in International Business)…mid-life crisis…Diploma of Education…Scots since July 2005…

When did you realise you wanted to be a teacher?
At a friend’s place in Newstead, in the late afternoon (about 5.00pm) ofDecember 29th2001. I had spent a dismal Christmas wondering what to do with my life, and how to escape a job I hated. Martin had just completed his first year of teaching after his own mid-life career change. Here was a career – I thought – not driven by the commercial imperative of profit and consumerism… naïve perhaps – but it was the benevolent lie that got me here – and I have never regretted it.

What made you want to become a part of the Scots Community and how long have you been here?
It will be fourteen years at the end of term two 2019. I started teaching at the beginning of 2004 at a department school in remote Western New South Wales. After 18 months of suffering the mismanagement, classroom struggles and structural poverty of the system, I decided to apply for jobs in the private sector. Scots was the first one I applied for. Ten days from application to interview to appointment!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Scots?
My students. My colleagues.

Best memory from your time at Scots?
Oh dear – this is going to sound like a retirement speech. Mostly to do with directing productions. Greg Ley as an inspired Zac in Cosiin 2006, our German exchange student Max as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew (2008), Liberty Gadd as Berringer in Rhinoceros (2010), performing alongside my cast as Danforth in The Crucible (2012), directing the staff production of Noel Coward’s Blyth Spirit (2013), Emily Bell in Cinderella, only last year…

What skills do you think students need to be World Ready and how do you think Scots helps them?
Their World Readiness is not really about the skills we teach them – they really can get those anywhere – it’s about the integrity we encourage in them – the quality of everything our students attempt after they leave school is a product of this. I passionately believe that we provide an extraordinary rounded education within the context of the resources that we have. And although we may not be perfect, over fourteen years I have seen so many of our students walk out of the maroon gates for their last time, beautifully prepared for their life odyssey by the strong moral geography of their integrity. And I know for certain we had a part in that. I’m never sure how much of a part – and though it’s sometimes small, its more often quite large – and our part in their integrity is the thing I am most proud of.


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