Life before Girton
Growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, I did my first degree at Monash University, where I qualified as a Primary teacher. Before joining Girton in 1995, I taught in various schools throughout Melbourne, Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley. I did my degree in Special Education at Latrobe University. My training and experience in primary education gave me insight into the sorts of struggles that students could experience in literacy and numeracy in particular. I had been drawn to this area prior to joining Girton. At all previous schools, I had operated out of hours tutoring for those for whom learning was a challenge.
While teaching and raising a family, I was also involved in many small businesses. I managed the finances for and worked in businesses ranging from the meat industry to the cleaning industry.
What I Love About Teaching
I love the look of joy on the students’ faces when they realise that they do understand or can do the task that they thought was inaccessible to them. I really enjoy my part in building confident young people who believe that they can achieve the success necessary to realise their dreams. At Girton, the students, along with their parents, are willing to trust that a teacher can help them to improve the students’ skills to allow choice in their futures.
What I like best about the subject/s I teach
Literacy and Numeracy as subjects impact on all academic areas, and life after school. Teaching these subjects allows me to have a direct impact on the students’ skills and confidence. This allows them to feel more confident and competent in their other subjects. It keeps doors open for choices for their future. Literate and numerate young people have the skills and awareness to become thinking, considerate and contributing citizens of society.
My favourite classroom activity
In Literacy classes there is the opportunity to discuss important issues affecting the world and the students’ futures. The class numbers and the classroom climate allow students to speak freely and passionately about these issues without fear of ridicule or of being ‘wrong’. For students in these classes, contributing to class discussion is not something that they do in a regular class. The discussion gives them access to understanding world events and issues. They can then formulate their own opinions and can express these opinions, in a clear manner, with supporting evidence. It is most rewarding to see the increase in student confidence and competence.
The difference that good teaching can make
The ability to be literate enough to make sense of the world, their country and local community allows students to become contributing citizens of the future. The ability to question and then to analyse what is going on around them allows them to make good decisions in their own lives. Helping students to develop confidence to tackle unknown or difficult tasks and to persist when tasks are challenging, sets them up for the challenges that life will throw at them.
Outside the classroom, I am MiC of the Chess Club, have also been involved in Volleyball and was MiC of Cre@te IT.
My passions are reading, gardening and walking. I love live theatre and visiting art galleries. I am a most ardent overseas traveller. My favourite activity is spending time with my family and getting to know the burgeoning personalities of my two little grandsons.