Life before Girton
I grew up in Ballarat, and attended Mount Pleasant Primary and then Mount Clear Secondary School. I completed a Bachelor of Arts at Ballarat University, majoring in Literature and Philosophy. I had a range of jobs following this including being a musician, a pastry cook, a landscape gardener, a salesman for a website company, and a removalist.
I taught English in Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, Japan for almost two years. When I returned to Melbourne, I did a Grad Dip at La Trobe in Bundoora. Following this I worked at North Fitzroy Primary School for five years. When my partner and I had our first child we moved to Castlemaine and I worked at Winters Flat Primary for almost a year.
This is my fourth year of teaching Year Five at Girton Grammar School.
What I Love about Teaching
I love seeing students improve over the course of the year. At the end of the year I sit down with my class and we look at how their work has progressed, for example their writing. The development can be remarkable, and to have a hand in that is very rewarding.
I love to learn, and as Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” As a generalist classroom teacher I have been able to explore Mathematics and the English language, as well as developing my own understanding of history, science and technology. I believe that my pursuit of learning also benefits my students.
The best thing about teaching at Girton is that every day brings different challenges and rewards.
What do you like best about the year level you teach?
Year Five is important because students are coming to the end of their childhood. It’s my job to help them enjoy this and to prepare them for Year Six and beyond. Students have the benefit of five years of school behind them and are often quite mature in their ability to manage their learning. Because of this students are often able to take great strides in their learning in Year Five.
Students love Year Five camp in Ballarat. They also enjoy our excursion to Melbourne in Term One. But to be honest, students especially enjoy the opportunity to take part in the Programming Club where we work on animations and games.
My favourite classroom activity
I’ve changed my answer to this about six times so far. I don’t have one favourite activity. Being a classroom generalist means I get to do lots of enjoyable and rewarding things, from sharing a great book with students to playing a fun dice game to exploring the drama of historical incidents like the Eureka Rebellion. Don’t make me choose!
What difference can good teaching make?
Successful students reach out for knowledge. They help a lesson be a success by working with others. They desire to develop their knowledge and skills and have developed the ability to learn from their setbacks. Good teachers provide an environment where these things can happen and students can flourish.
Hopefully my students benefit from my own love of learning and interest in the topics that I teach.
I am the MiC of the Programming Club in the Junior School. We meet weekly in Semester One to work on animations and games. Students use the application Scratch, which is fantastic for enabling a sophisticated understanding of computational thinking. And it’s fun.
I’m also a basketball manager and coach for the Girton Basketball Club. I love basketball, and coaching at Girton Grammar has inspired me to take up the sport again.
Outside of work I spend as much time as I can with my partner and our two children. I also play the piano and guitar.