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Staff Spotlight: Introducing Julian

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We delve a little deeper into the life of Julian Ashton, Senior School teacher at Brighton Campus, and discover a passion for authentic Japanese ramen and wrestling!

Full Name:

Julian Ashton

Current Position:

I’m currently teaching IB Film, Creative Expression and Occupations as well as being the Cycle 5 Advisor. I also supervise the Senior School Band each week and the fortnightly IB Film Movie Club.

How long have you been at MMS?

This is my 5th year at MMS.

Where were you beforehand?  

I stepped away from teaching to pursue a career in the Arts. I was a filmmaker and video content producer for numerous organisations, including Arts Centre Melbourne. In 2019, I returned to education to work at Melbourne Montessori School.

What do you love about working at MMS?

I appreciate the fact that our space is based on communication and trust. Our students can only get the freedoms they enjoy through trust, and if that trust is broken, we repair it through communication and negotiation.

What inspires you as a Montessori educator?

The relationships between students and teachers are unique at Melbourne Montessori School. Connections are real and we care for each other as people. Our aim is for teachers and students to be partners in the process of learning, working together towards a shared goal.

What is your most memorable teaching moment?

In the Arts, every term ends with a student finding pride in a new accomplishment. That might be through their painting being on display, creating a film or standing on stage to thunderous applause. There is nothing better than when students celebrate their own achievements.

What are five interesting things that we may not know about you?

1.My family is obsessed with finding authentic Japanese ramen restaurants. Quality tonkotsu ramen is worth the hunt!

2.I’m the lead singer and guitarist in a cover band. It is a fun outlet once a month and probably the start of my mid-life crisis.

3.I co-authored an Australian feature film…that I have not seen.

4.I was a professional wrestler—a ‘wearing tights and jumping off the top rope’ type of wrestler. I didn’t know how many legitimate injuries you could get participating in a fake sport.

5.I once worked with Barry Humphries. In fact, Dame Edna described one of my set designs as a ‘bordello’. I was so proud.

What does your weekend look like?

A weekend? I’m a teacher…I have marking to do and course work to create! When do you think that gets done?

 What is your favourite Maria Montessori quote and why?

“Adults must defend children. We adults must see the real humanity in children, the humanity which will take our place one day if we are to have social progress. Social progress means that the next generation is better than the one before.” Maria Montessori – The 1946 London Lectures, p. 140

This is why we recognise adolescents as people who make mistakes. We not only recognise it, but we expect it and help them navigate through it. Teenagers are worthy of our respect as, without it, how can we adults expect to get respect in return.

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