Ms Caryn Clark

Life before Girton

A committed teacher in the Department of Education, Employment and Training for 28 years – having taught in public secondary schools, private education and at tertiary level, lecturing and assessing for Diploma of Liberal Arts at Chisholm TAFE.

What I Love about Teaching

To me, teaching is about passion – if you can make learning engaging, enthralling and infectious, then learning becomes a natural, encompassing process.

The other aspect I love about teaching is the sense of privilege – show me another career where you share in the journey of thousands of individuals, feeling the privilege of contributing to their life choices, their unique viewpoints and the growth and insights into themselves and their world – what a gift!

Teaching at Girton is a blast! I love the wonderful sense of humour and collegiate support offered by the staff. In particular, I love the interest, motivation and dedication of the students when they become engaged in my subject. I look forward to making an enduring contribution at many levels to Girton Grammar School.

What do you like best about the subjects you teach?

My subjects of English, History and Literature are like oxygen – you just can’t live without them! To me, teaching the depth and breadth of these subjects is not just enriching to the mind, but enriching to the heart and soul. These core subjects teach us how we not only belong to society, but how each of us may use our unique voice to make an invaluable contribution to humanity. Step into my classroom, and I’ll show you how…

English, History and Literature are subjects that help us define ourselves, our relationships and our understanding of the past so that we may shape our future. The tools in each of these subjects give us the strength and ability to ask and understand the Big Questions in life – where do I belong? What contribution will I make? How do I express the unique views and values inside me? What part can I play in contributing to society for the betterment of all? These truly are the skills and abilities of all life-learners.

My favourite classroom activity

My most engaging activities in my classes are the challenge of interpretation, discussion and reflection. My most successful classes are where I can teach tools to unpack thinking and learning, then watch students have the self-confidence and self-belief to apply these tools to draw out the value of knowledge and ideas from what they discuss. Not only do students gain understanding, they also build a sense of empowerment.

What difference can good teaching make?

When a student steps into my class, they must bring an intellectual tool-box – and their most important tools are curiosity, wonder and a hunger to engage. Success may not always be about how ‘clever’ someone is, but how much they want to learn, how much they want to understand, and how eager they are to embrace new ideas and new journeys of discovery. If I have a class of students like that, then I can take them to the horizon and beyond…

I am very poor at assessing my own attributes – I would hope students appreciate my endless support, my endless faith and belief that they can achieve anything if they set their hearts and minds to it, my sense of being thoroughly prepared and organised so they may benefit from that systematic learning process, and my quirky sense of humour!

Other Hats

I am very much looking forward to assisting Mrs Scott in the editing and production of this year’s Girtonian magazine as part of my co-curricular involvement – I am looking forward to maintaining her exceptionally high standards! I am also hoping to contribute ideas, support and a bit of Sparkle-Fingers choreography to Mr Pease’s awesome Boys Performance at year’s end – if he’ll put up with me…

My passions outside of Girton are my family, designing house-plans for our Tree-change block, gardening and vege-growing, snorkelling, travelling, and continuing to write my High-Fantasy trilogy of novels. Move over, J K Rowling…