Life before Girton
Before teaching, I worked as a Nanny for a family in Melbourne. I worked at Girton College in the Boarding House before heading to Northern Territory to teach via School of the Air and Correspondence to students in a Mining Town. I then returned to Bendigo and was employed at Girton Grammar School in its Foundation Year. I’ve been here ever since!
What I Love about Teaching
I love teaching. I love being part of the journey a little person travels. I love making a positive difference in a child’s life. It’s all I ever wanted to do from when I was old enough to force my sisters and cousins to play “schools” and of course I was always the teacher! Seeing students grow, physically, academically and emotionally over the four terms we spend together. I love the daily interaction I have with my students.
There’s a lot of wonderful things about teaching at Girton but one that really comes to mind is being able to travel the whole journey with a child. I meet them when they start Prep and then they visit me on the last day of Year 12 so I can sign their shirts….which are slightly bigger 13 years later!
What do you like best about the year level you teach?
I love getting to know the children and because they are so young they are generally so open and trusting right from the beginning of the year. I particularly love having siblings come up and watching the family grow. It is a real privilege to be part of family’s lives.
What developmental characteristics are children showing?
Year Three children are curious about the world around them and they love talking about things that are happening in the NEWS. They start thinking more critically and love to share their opinions about things with their classmates and teacher. They start developing caring and solid friendships and hopefully a strong sense of empathy.
What do students enjoy most about the Year Level?
I’m not sure what my students enjoy about the Year Three. I’d like to think it is my silly stories, funny jokes and amazing dancing but really I think if you asked them they would say going on camp!
My favourite classroom activity / What classroom activity to you think the students most enjoy?
There’ so many things we do that they enjoy. They love learning the science behind what makes popcorn pop but I think that is because they get to eat the popcorn afterwards! They love it when a Student Teacher La Trobe comes for a few weeks because they always bring fun activities.
One of my favourite lessons is some time in the busyness of the last week of school they write a story about what they have enjoyed, improved, loved about Year 3. Then I hand them the first piece of writing they wrote in Year 3 back in February which was about what they were looking forward to and what they want to achieve in the year. I love watching their faces as they compare the pieces of wring. I often hear things like “I can’t even remember writing this.” And “Oh my handwriting was so messy.” It’s a great way to show them how much they have achieved during the year.
What difference can good teaching make?
Describe the traits of a successful student in your subject or class.
Sometimes people get confused and think that a successful student is someone who gets top marks for everything they do. In Year 3, the most successful student is the one who has improved and the child who is motivated to learn. The student who listens to ideas of others and isn’t afraid to ask questions. A successful student should know how to have fun whilst learning – they should take their learning seriously but not themselves so seriously……..they are only 9! A successful student should be kind, show empathy and be able to admit they have made a mistake and learn from it.
What attributes of your own do you hope your students benefit from?
I hope my students benefit from my “tomorrow is a new day” approach. If a child has had a bad day, they never leave my classroom at 3:15pm without a quick chat so they feel good about the next day. I care about my students and this shows them how to care too. My attitude towards having fun along the way whilst learning shows the children that feeling good and relaxed during the school day opens you up to so much more.
What co-curricular activities are you involved with at Girton?
What are your passions or hobbies outside of work?
- Watching my own children grow up
- Spending time on the Murray River
- Visiting family
- Reading………not proof reading………reading!!