Peter Botsman Award 1998

Ray McGuire

'When Ray McGuire’s name was mentioned as a recipient of this award, the number of people who were not only able, but indeed, delighted to provide information about Ray is testament to the respect in which he is held and his ongoing influence as a practitioner.  Those of you here today who have not met Ray have, nevertheless, through your membership of ETAQ, over the years benefitted from his generosity of spirit towards our profession.  Only last year, Ray presented a keynote speech at our AGM and subsequently contributed a paper to Words’Worth for those unable to attend the seminar, to enjoy.

Ray’s teaching career began at Blair State School and was continued at a number of country high schools including Kepnock, Biggenden Secondary Department, and Oakey, before he moved into the far western suburbs, that is, to Ipswich State High School and then to his present school of Bremer State High School, where he continues to serve as head of department.

This finite listing of schools does not begin to scratch the surface of his influence on the teaching and learning of English in Queensland. Through positions he has held such as District Panel Chair from 1987 and long-serving member of the English Subject Advisory Committee, he has both developed curriculum material and been involved in ensuring its effective and equitable implementation.  Schools have always been assured that any feedback given by Ray is proferred only after very careful consideration.

Other significant contributions made by Ray include his work on the FLIP program, inservice materials for the English in Years 1 to 10 syllabus and his painstaking work on the Student Performance Standards.  No matter how challenging the material, if Ray can see a benefit in it for students and teachers, he tackles the task head on, repeatedly reviewing and refining his thoughts.

Now in its second year, it has gone cross-curricular and multi-year level, following a series of genre work-shops, and with the use of a genre booklet to assist teachers.  To date approximately 40% of Bremer teachers have participated in thee workshops.

Such dedication to the quality of English teaching and learning is to be admired by all, but for those with whom he has worked, this is only part of the story. Not surprisingly, teachers feel very confident in his leadership in curriculum areas but this is not always the first thing they are likely to mention about Ray McGuire. He has been described as the quiet ‘Aussie” achiever who enjoys football, the occasional XXXX and just loves English, language and teaching.

His first concern is for his students and he is remembered  by many for his prodigious memory of their  names, their work and even their results. Just as he is able to inspire his colleagues into achieving their best, so he is able to draw the best from his students. Whilst his leadership motivates others, his personal commitment is to the ‘team’ and valuing all contributions.

Ray is a rigorous and independent thinker, a quality which he brings to bear on the development of professional programs. It is also this quality which leads people to describe him as a philosopher and to gather around when he shares  his thoughts. Although Ray has a steady, calm and thoughtful approach, he has been known to rail against ‘the system’ and fights for what he believes in.

Because we need such ‘word warriors’, and for so many more than the reasons I have detailed here today, we congratulate Ray McGuire on receiving the Peter Botsman Award for outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of English in Queensland  in a classroom based position.’

Upcoming Events

Short Stories - Year 11

Emma Monfries and Kiri Lucas will present some practical activities and observations from Unit 2: Texts and Culture.  With these activities, students can conceptualise in concrete ways the relationship between place and culture, for example, through layered maps, and to convey this in texts such as short stories.  Students can a...

Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 15th February 2020
Venue:   Ryan Catholic College
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


An Afternoon with Christine Hills

The Darling Downs Branch will present an Afternoon with Christine Hills and the Collins Writing Program on Wednesday, 26 February, 2020. Afternoon tea will be served from 3:15 to 3:45 pm. This workshop will allow teachers and school leaders an opportunity to: Explore elements of grammar that are central to good writing and align w...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   3:15 PM
Date:   Wednesday 26th February 2020
Venue:   St Ursula's - Toowoomba
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


March Seminar 2020: Diving Deep into Story

Literature is the lifeblood of the English classroom and we all endeavour to make our classrooms creative spaces, helping students to experience the pleasures of responding to and creating literature. This seminar will explore diverse ideas related to creativity in English. The keynote address will be presented by Assoc. Professor Kim Wil...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   8:10 AM
Date:   Saturday 21st March 2020
Venue:   Griffith University TBC
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000


Diving into Analytical Writing

ETAQ will present a session on how to write an 'analytical essay' on Tuesday 28 April, at Aquinas College, Edmund Rice Drive, ASHMORE. In 2020, students will be required to write an 'analytical essay' in the external exam for General English. However, the term 'essay' is not used consistently across subject areas a...

Category:   Professional Development
Start Time:   3:15 PM
Date:   Tuesday 28th April 2020
Venue:   Aquinas College
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Tony Hytch presents

Tony will present a session entitled  "Getting students assessment ready for Essential English" at Pimlico State High School, Townsville on Saturday 2nd May, 2020. Teachers will explore teh possible options for assessment in Units 1 and 2. In particular how to develop an assessment program which best prepares students for the t...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 2nd May 2020
Venue:   Pimlico High School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


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