At the MCOBA, we are all about keeping Maritzburg College old boys connected to both the school and one another. However, some old collegians want to have an even stronger connection with the school, choosing to report to College each weekday morning as they did when they still adorned the mighty basher. These men are our old collegian staff members. Over the next few months, we will be getting to know these individuals. We will be finding out what they do for our school, catching up with what they have been up to since their school days, and asking a few fun questions. If you have any questions you would like to direct to any of our OC staff members, email the name of the staff member and your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org and it may just be featured in their interview.
PART TWENTY-FIVE (Continued)
Jacques Wilcock (2014)
In last month’s newsletter, we met Jacques Wilcock, who had been working unofficially for College since he finished school here in 2014. He was in the middle of doing his PGCE practical’s and sat down with us to discuss his journey through College and his aspirations to officially become an employee of the school. Well, on the first day back from the mid-year holidays, there was a staff meeting called. It was at this meeting that Principal Mr Chris Luman announced a certain OC who had been an A student in his day, was joining the staff. “When he mentioned straight A’s I looked around the room because I wasn’t sure who he was referring to. I had a bit of a laugh when I figured out it was me. No doubt my Afrikaans teacher Mrs Greyling put in a good word because most of my teachers have since left” Jacques told us, describing his reaction to the announcement.
We sat down with Jacques to find out a little more about what he’s going to be doing and what lies ahead for this die-hard OC.
We don’t doubt you will continue to get involved in as many ways as possible but what exactly were you officially hired to do at College?
I signed my contract on the first of July as a locum teacher for P.E. it’s not exactly full-time but it’s definitely a start and a step in the right direction. There’s a lot of work to be done in the P.E department but we’re all highly motivated and I’m excited to get started.
Do you enjoy teaching P.E?
Definitely. It’s very similar to coaching sport but you have a wider variety of tools you can use. When you’re coaching you’re obviously focusing on that one sport but in P.E we can use techniques and skills training from a variety of sports and that really keeps things interesting.
What do you think is the value of P.E?
P.E is amongst the most important subjects in school. The physical activity and fresh air releases endorphins, sharpens focus, and improves the kids’ morale. Playing forms a huge part in the development of social skills. Sport is really aimed at the kids with an interest in sport but that’s not every kid, P.E is a nice opportunity for every kid to get out into the sun and reap the benefits of physical activity that isn’t competitive and is just geared towards learning new skills, increasing and maintaining fitness levels and really just having fun. It’s a chance for boys to step away from the classroom and strict rules of conduct for a moment and just be kids, which tends to get lost in high school years.
What are you most excited about with this new chapter?
Well something we have in the pipeline now is introducing sport specific clinics and drills for the boys. The aim here is to expose boys to sports they otherwise would not have played. You can only really pick one main sport a term but P.E is a great opportunity for boys to explore the skills and dynamics of other sport. So if we have a tennis clinic for example, we’ll have all the boys learning tennis skills and playing friendlies. This will not only mean a more fun and challenging time for the boys but also that they become better all-round athletes with a wider range of skills to bring to their chosen sports.
Last we spoke, you said your ideal role at College would be teaching economics or accounting, if things go as planned will you continue to teach P.E?
Absolutely. I mean, P.E is great for the kids but it’s also awesome for the teachers. I think it’s a great opportunity to get to know all the kids in an environment where they feel comfortable. It’s also a chance to be creative, there isn’t really a stringent syllabus like in other subjects and so that leaves some room for each teacher to find unique ways to reach their objectives.
Is there anything you would want to change or improve about the subject?
Not really, in fact, I would incorporate P.E into other subjects to improve them. Every kid has a different learning style, the average College boy is very high energy, and loves to get involved in as many ways as possible. I think it would be valuable to allow the kids some movement and interaction in every lesson. If you see something written in front of you and write it down yourself, it doesn’t really mean anything to you. But if you’re a part of it, if you’re called to the front of the class to act out an example, it becomes an experience, not just a case study.