Life before Girton
Education: Diploma of Teaching (University of Melbourne, Victoria), Bachelor of Education (Curtin University, Perth, W.A.)
Teaching experience prior to Girton
Victorian country: Red Cliffs Primary, St. Arnaud Primary, Horsham North Primary- Generalist classroom teacher (Years Prep, One and Two), Casual Relief Teacher (various school around Horsham district)
Perth, W.A.: East Victoria Park Primary- Physical Education teacher (Years One-Seven), Casual Relief Teacher (Years One-Seven)
Other employment: YMCA Outdoor Education Teacher, Boating Instructor and Lifeguard (Julian County, California USA), Au Pair (San Diego, California), Governess (Outback NSW), Swimming Instructor and Lifeguard (Victoria)
What I Love about Teaching
I was looking at a career change before coming to Girton. I moved to Bendigo with the intentions of trying something other than teaching. Once I met the staff and school community I quickly changed my mind!
Whilst I really just love teaching in general, I particularly enjoy working with children in their early years of schooling. The growth of these students throughout the year is amazing! When comparing the start of the year to the end of Term Four, I see so much academic and emotional development.
What do you like best about the year level you teach?
Being involved in the Junior School Production is definitely a highlight. The students are also introduced to the Strings programme with Mrs Bartlett. In Year Two, the students seem to have a ‘taste of everything’ that is Girton, including an overnight camp, which keeps it interesting!
My favourite classroom activity
The children in my class always look forward to earning Burge Bucks. As a Preparatory teacher for ten years, it started out as a way to develop skills with financial calculations. The concept grew into something more than just adding amounts! The children have wallets, practise trading and skip counting, work out change, make purchases and even get the odd fine everyone now and then! Earning Burge Bucks is a great Maths activity and also lots of fun.
What difference can good teaching make?
Good teaching is a combination of continued learning, building relationships, knowing the curriculum and also the way children learn. Several years ago, I completed a course online about ways to differentiate learning and I experimented with my class to see how far they could go. The children expressed their knowledge in so many different ways and I was impressed with their achievements and creativity. I saw so many benefits to this approach that it’s now an integrated part of the way I teach!
My co-curricular involvement at Girton began in soccer. I had a dedicated Year 10 student who helped organise the soccer skill development activities which was lucky because I knew nothing about soccer. From here I moved into basketball, where I have been ever since.
Outside of work, I spend time gardening and being in the outdoors when the weather is nice. I enjoy reading, camping and travelling to new places with my family.