Mr Paul Waldron

Paul WALDRONLife before Girton

2003-2007 Completed a Bachelor of Science through The University of Melbourne with a major in Chemistry and a sub-major in Mathematics

2006-2009 Worked as an Intellectual Property Researcher for Intellectual Property Organisers, a subsidiary company to the IP firm Phillips, Ormonde and Fitzpatrick.  During 2009 I also worked as a swimming instructor.

2010-2011 moved to Bendigo and completed my Graduate Diploma of Education (secondary) off campus through Monash University whilst working as a disability support care worker, customer service operator, and even held a summer job as a laboratory technician for Graincorp.

2012-2013 Started my formal teaching practice with Kyneton Secondary College in a graduate scholarship position through DEECD. In 2012 was awarded a scholarship through The Chemistry Education Association (CEA) to attend STAVCON. In 2013 was sponsored by VESKI to attend CONASTA 62 in Melbourne.  My report on the conference was published in the Sept/October 2013 edition of “Teaching Science” At the end of 2013 I was the recipient of the CEA Chemistry Teacher presenter award and delivered a workshop at the 2014 STAV Chemistry Conference entitled “Flipping the test”.

2014 Commenced at Girton Grammar School and was a nominee for both the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Centenary of Federation Award and the Australian Scholarships Group’s Teaching for Excellence Award.

What I Love about Teaching

The thing I love most about teaching in general is to be able to witness the great “Aha!” or “lightbulb” moments from students.  These are those moments when students’ eyes light up as they suddenly grasp a previously difficult concept.  Another thing I love about teaching is watching students explore and question various phenomena and demonstrate that inquisitive thinking nature.  The best thing about teaching at Girton is the high levels of consistency on multiple levels: curricula, teaching, classroom management and pastoral care.  This occurs without the cost to individual teaching and learning styles.

What do you like best about the subject you teach?

In the words of Marie Curie on the essence of the scientific ethos: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”  Often Chemistry is seen as a “hard” subject.  It is one of my long term goals as an educator to change this narrative.  Chemistry is not to be feared.  Chemistry is a beautiful balance between broad scientific concepts that explore matter and the mathematics behind it.  The very atoms which we are made from have come from erupting supernovas from billions of years ago.  The study of Chemistry starts to give us some insight into how those atoms interact with one another.

Science studies in general help to teach students of principles which allow them to be critical, sceptical and inquisitive about the world in which they live and be more informed when making decisions.  Perhaps it is among the next generation that will answer some of life’s greatest questions such as how life began, medicinal cures, and quantum storage.

My favourite classroom activity

My favourite classroom activity is not one singular activity but rather a broader concept of any activity which allows students to embody concepts and make emotional connections.  Research show that when learners embody and make emotional connections to their learning, retention of those concepts improves.  Learning is making new neurological connections in the brain.  It is supposed to be challenging.  Classroom activities which challenge students further promote learning.

What difference can good teaching make?

It is often said that students when recalling details about their high school days rarely recite specific lessons on specific days about specific concepts.  Instead, people tend more to recall details about the relationships which they formed.  Forming meaningful and long lasting relationships with students has an extraordinary impact on the academic achievement as well as the physical and emotional well-being of students.  Sharing in such meaningful relationships hopefully then has the added benefit of having students turn into better human beings and be able to interact with a range of individuals outside of and after they leave the schooling environment.

Other Hats

Assistant Manager in Charge for Girton Volleyball

Girton Grammar School Staff Association Secretary

I had very little knowledge about volleyball when I first became a part of the volleyball team but have since learned and grown a great deal about the sport and have come to really enjoy the excitement that comes with the sport.

Outside of Girton my great passion is the performing arts.  From 2003-2009 I was a part of the Travel Art Dance company. 2003-2006 I was a part of the Newman College choir and in 2007 I was a part of the Melbourne ensemble, Choristry.  In 2014 I made a comeback to the stage in my performance as Princeton in Three’s a Crowd’s performance of Avenue Q and in July 2015 I look forward to playing the role of Bert in Bendigo Theatre Company’s performances of Mary Poppins.  Also in 2015 I have started running with the goal of running a half marathon later in the year.