A conversation with…
Name: Brett Costin
School: Victory College, QLD
CSA: How long have your been in education, Brett?
Brett: I have been involved in Education for 26 years, in leadership roles and teaching from Grades1-10 in independent schools both in Australia and Qatar.
CSA: In addition to your role as Principal, what are your main areas of teaching?
Brett: Today, integrating Technology, Science, Engineering, and Mathematics has challenged the way we as educators teach. Still, for me, E-Learning has always been a part of my teaching, from 1997 when I linked my class in Townsville, Australia with a class in Spokane, Washington using IRC chat and emails, until my recent use of Zoom with staff and students.
CSA: Tell us a bit about your teaching career and your vision for Christian education.
Brett: My teaching career has been an exciting adventure, especially over recent times, as I have experienced the challenge of steering a College through Covid lockdowns, changes in technology, and societal values while holding onto our Christian Worldview. Importantly, I have never lost the passion for delivering the best possible education for every student that I teach. As an educator I always strive to be innovative, creative, connected, compassionate, an expert in behaviour management, at times a counsellor, administrator, and sometimes a surrogate parent. As a life-long learner, I continue to build myself and others to be able to deliver a high quality of teaching and learning and welfare of staff and students within the community. I also strive to be a life coach developing enthusiasm for higher-order thinking, so that staff and students are equipped to face the challenges of these times with the emotional intelligence, learning and digital fluencies that enables them to be leaders of their generation.
As Principal of Victory College, my vision has always been to equip every student to find their purpose in life. As Principal, I have encouraged an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit is free to move and lead students into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Visitors to the College often comment on the atmosphere, amazed how friendly and peaceful the College feels. This is due to our focus on relational and restorative practices to assist every child feel loved and a part of the College community.
As an educator and a Principal, I am driven by the fact that each student is uniquely gifted by God and they are part of our community. I have always said, “I am committed to building a community, not just a school.” Seeing a student change from feeling despair about their future to a young person filled with hope and the belief that they can learn and be accepted, drives me to continue to be at the forefront of Education.
CSA: You’ve recently use the teacher induction member resource, Flourish: A Vision of Christian Schooling. both personally and with your whole staff team.
How was the resources received by you and the team?
Brett: The teaching series God’s big story and Flourish have been enthusiastically received by our staff. This can be witnessed in the discussions that come from our staff. One staff member commented, “The videos allow clarity and a greater understanding; which in turn encourages deeper thought and reflection on each topic.” while another said,”The presentations were engaging, interesting, and relatable.” Personally, it has helped me communicate the Christian purpose of our College, to leadership and thus filter down to all staff. The Covid, information was a lifesaver last year and assisted our communication with our College community, in that our parent body have nothing but praise for the information they received.
CSA: How do you think the Flourish new teacher induction resource has/will impact your team and your school community?
Brett: The resource have built a unity of vision for our College. Where we have teachers of many different Christian denominations the core beliefs, the love for this generation of children, the calling to build God’s Kingdom through loving relationships and quality pedagogy is something we can all unite towards.
CSA: What is the most significant “take-away for the Flourish new teacher induction resource?
Brett: That we are part of something bigger than our Colleges our time and our lives. Christian Education has been built on other’s visions, the Holy Spirits prompting and the educational goals of creating excellence in Christian education for the future generations to uphold the truth of God’s Word before it.
CSA: Brett, what is your one TOP TIP for other Christian schools using this resource?
Brett: Allow time, for discussion. Don’t force time restrictions but don’t let it drag out, so as to loose the impact. Look at the key points that your school will benefit from, each community has unique areas that hindering the school flourishing. It may be understanding of the Culture or the faith base the school was developed from, or where each staff member is at in their walk as an educator or a Christian. The balance between discussion and videos through the key questions that have the greatest impact on the staff and community is important.