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
The best part of teaching is what I call the “light bulb moments”. These moments occur when the children explore new concepts and make discoveries. I enjoy working with children in their early years of schooling, from Preparatory up to Year Two.
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!
What do you like best about the year level you teach?
The overnight camp to Lake Eppalock is definitely a highlight of Year Two. The students also show great enthusiasm towards the Strings programme with Mrs Bartlett and Mrs Timmins. In Year Two, the students love working on projects of interest.
My favourite classroom activity
The children in Year Two 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 $1 coins! The children have wallets, earn money, receive fines, practise trading and skip counting, work out change, make purchases and even get to be banker! 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 and knowledge of curriculum and the way students learn. I completed a course online about ways to differentiate learning and I experimented with my class to see how far they could go. The results were amazing. The children expressed their knowledge in so many different ways and I was so proud of their achievements. 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 lots of time gardening. I enjoy reading, camping and travelling to new places with my family.