Introducing Nick Carter
19 May 17 by Cranbrook Communications
This term Nick Carter joined us as Cranbrook’s new Director of Teaching and Learning. In case the name is familiar, Nick is not only an Old Cranbrookian but his father is Bruce Carter; our former Headmaster (1985-2000).
Having been not only a student here but one whose family home was the Headmaster’s House, Nick’s whole imaginative life was built in the Cranbrook environment. Before accepting the offer of the role here, he felt anxious about returning to teach where he had learnt. He now describes the feeling when walking back through the School gates as coming home, and all the reassurance that gives.
Whilst teaching is clearly in his blood, it was only at University when stepping in to teach a single class of Ancient History at The Emanuel School that his passion for teaching was ignited. Prior to this, Nick vividly recalls being adamant about not becoming a teacher; he remembers thinking as a teenager how stifling that role would be to simply – he imagined - relay what you have already learnt. Now Nick cites the moment when he sees each student’s eyes light up when they have opened their mind to the wider world and the power of learning, as what keeps him within the teaching profession and gives him that visceral buzz. Nick’s own defining moment was in Year 10 when his then English teacher, Michael Parker, taught Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. And it was this same teacher that Nick ended up working for at Oxley College as Head of Academic Strategies K-12.
Prior to Oxley College, Nick has over 15 years of teaching experience working at Scots College, Shore, Newington and Trinity. Nick believes Cranbrook School has always been, and should remain, more ‘edgy’, more ‘boutique and hip’ than other more traditional independent schools. We are, as our founders intended, the antidote to the independent schools that surround us.
Whilst he enjoyed working in co-educational schools, Nick particularly enjoys teaching boys as he likes to see that whilst boys can be excited about archetypal ‘boys activities’; cars, sport etc, he relishes providing them with the opportunity to be moved by things like poetry and become what every modern man should, and can, be.
Nick describes his impressions of Cranbrook boys today as having that traditional ‘sass’. They are urbane, left-field, refined yet sporty. Much as they were when he was a student and he defines himself as the archetypal Cranbrook boy; he was sporty yet loved the arts, he was sassy (in his memory at least) yet respectful. He was Head of Wakehurst House and his brother, Jono, was 2nd Head Prefect.
Teaching has undoubtedly evolved over the years and Nick believes that teachers are expected to play a far more active role in the spiritual and emotional health of all the boys. There is increasing pressure on teachers to ensure how they teach will engage each student and maintain their interest. For Nick teaching remains one of the most gratifying jobs and if he wasn’t working within the teaching profession, he would be either bowling for the Australian Cricket team or taking to the stage at the Capitol Theatre!