Don Morrison

Upper School Faculty and Director of Robotics
How long have you been at Crescent? What do you do at Crescent?

I joined Crescent in 1999 and have been teaching for over 30 years. 
I am the Director of Robotics. I currently teach Grade 9 Tech Design, Grade 9 Science and Grade 11 Marine Biology. I have also coached golf, hockey, and track and field.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

After graduating with an Honours degree in Science I took a gap year and did volunteer work in Samoa, a small island in the South Pacific. That’s where I got hooked on teaching.

What is your philosophy of education and how do you apply it in school?

My philosophy of education is to develop lifelong learners. Education is a partnership between the boy, his parents and the teacher. The three must work together to find the boy’s “true pathway” and to teach goodness, discipline and knowledge. I believe there are three aspects to this:

Goodness: to teach right from wrong; the importance of taking care of yourself, family and friends; to contribute in a positive manner to society to make your community and the world a better place.

Commitment to Excellence: to become the best of your ability personally and academically; to understand that failure is an opportunity to learn. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Discipline:­­­­­­­­­ a necessity to achieve excellence; develop the discipline to exercise and eat healthy each day.

These attributes are taught at Crescent in the classroom and co-curricular programs.

How have the students at Crescent benefited from the robotics program?

Robotics is used as a vehicle to develop character. The character of the boys is tested in high intensity situations competing against the best in the world. The skills they develop in the robotics program include:

  • Leadership – the robotics team is led by a student executive, who mentor to the Middle and Lower School boys
  • Collaboration – the boys must work in teams to design and build a robot that must accomplish an extremely difficult challenge; during competitions the team must also collaborate with other school teams to be successful
  • Complex problem solving and critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Perseverance - they learn that through hard work and discipline they have the ability to achieve goals personally and as a team that they never thought possible
  • Service - the value of contributing in local and global outreach, such as Crescent’s program at Sunnyview P.S.

What might the robotics program mean for students in the future?

We will continue to develop the robotics curricular and co-curricular programs in the Lower and Middle Schools. I also anticipate an increase in the local outreach applications of robotics.

We are currently exploring new technology using 3D printers and are at the early stages of development for a robotics entrepreneurial program.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of Crescent.

I live an active lifestyle and enjoy playing hockey, golf, scuba diving and mountain biking. I also love being outdoors, spending time at the cottage, canoeing and back country camping.

Family is hugely important for me. I am from a family of eight kids. I married my high school sweetheart, Val, and we have been married for 29 years. We have four amazing children: Brendan, Jennifer, Bridget and Andrew.

Published May 2017
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