TURNING ON TALENT: Emmaus College's Cajetan Goves has been nominated for the 2019 Professor Betty Watts OBE Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching
TURNING ON TALENT: Emmaus College's Cajetan Goves has been nominated for the 2019 Professor Betty Watts OBE Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Jann Houley

Emmaus teacher excellence award nominee

CAJETAN Goves still gets a "zing" out of classroom teaching after 32 years.

The Emmaus College personality is one of two Central Queensland teachers nominated for the 2019 Professor Betty Watts OBE Memorial Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching.

"I've had my chance to move up through the ranks into administration but I chose not to," he said.

"So long as I'm teaching my students to think outside the box, then I feel I can do the same."

Mr Goves is a practising artist who tries to enter the Bayton award every two years, and organises drawing classes for his colleagues and the wider community.

He and his students have been nominated for and won prizes for their art at local, regional and state competitions.

​He has designed and built the sets for school musicals for many years and introduced the 'Turning on The Talent' night which has occurred every year since the early 2000s.

The Talent involves visual art displays, subject showcases and student performances.

"Unlike any other subject, visual arts allows you to be who you are, to be and individual and bring yourself to the learning," he said.

"I've always been one to not accept the norm and to find a way to make things better."

His students have gone on to work with fashion houses such as RipCurl and the White Horse company.

"He also has the ability to get to know his students informally so that he can find a way to engage his students in all aspects of the courses he teaches," Assistant Principal Simon Warren says.

Mr Goves has been involved in many extra-curricular activities over his years of service, including taking numerous sporting teams to events and outdoor education camps.

"I think I hold the record for the most number - 64 - of outdoor camps at the Blackdown Tablelands," he said.

In addition to teaching students to abseil, he also spent 12 years in a pastoral care role as coordinator of Year 9.

The secret to teaching, Mr Goves said, is to treat students with respect and dignity and to expect the same in return.

He has always been an early adopter of new ideas and processes and a big believer in using student data to inform his teaching.

"You have to be flexible and keep up with the industry," he said.

"The students have so much access to information through their phones and computers now, but I don't think their retention is as good."

"I try to focus on problem solving; visual arts teaches an awareness of society and the issues that govern us."



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