Mr Dan Slater

Dan SLATERLife before Girton
Before Girton, I taught in the Red Mountains of California, USA, tackling the challenge of teaching Summer School Students Australian cricket.

I completed my schooling years at St Patricks Boarding school in Ballarat, later receiving my Diploma of Teaching, and Graduate Diploma in PE at Ballarat University.

After travelling globally with my girlfriend (now my wife), and becoming Sports Master and Year Level Co-ordinator at St Josephs in North Melbourne, I settled into Bendigo and became a teacher of Humanities and P.E, as well as The Year Level Co-ordinator at Catholic College Senior School.

The year of 2000 brought me to Girton Grammar, to teach P.E, Outdoor Education and History.

I am the current Sports Master, and Head of Co-curriculum for Girton.

What I Love about Teaching
The people. I love being involved in such a great school community, where parents, teachers and students are all working towards a common goal. It’s a tight-knit community at Girton, full of supportive individuals all looking out for one another.

I congratulate Girton for moulding such delightful young people to work with. As well as creating a positive environment in which students and teachers have a mutual level of respect for one another.

I love making individual connections with each student and I believe that it is what drives a cognitive motivation for learning.  For this reason, my approach has always been to know the person, understand their needs on a human level, then teach.

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach?
I maintain the belief that the combination of the House system and Co-curricular program is what makes Girton a great place to teach. The teachers and students work more as a team when they get to interact outside of the normal classroom environment.

Sometimes seeing people in a new light or context, completely changes our view of them. It can be a very powerful development, for both student and teacher. And with like-minded staff nurturing our young people and forming genuine friendships, we have one of the most caring environments I’ve ever taught in.

My favourite classroom activity
I think that forming supportive relationships based on common ground, found outside of the classroom can help influence a student’s motivation for learning.

Every teacher at Girton, including myself, came to the school knowing that we would be doing more than the traditional classroom teaching. We knew they would be actively involved in co-curricular activities and would be committed over and above the normal call of duty.

Seeing the students totally engaged in the purpose of the lesson and achieving their very best regardless of their ability is a very positive outcome in a lesson. The sparkle in the eye and easy smile when a student achieves a difficult task is reward for effort for any teacher.

What difference can good teaching make?
Firstly, good teaching allows students to get every opportunity to learn at a higher level.

Secondly, good teaching allows students to adapt their understanding of what they have learned. Application is everything.

Other Hats
Outside of my career I like to keep fit and healthy, completing the Gold Coast Marathon in 2011 and 2012, and also playing Master’s Football which led to National Competitions from 2008 to 2013.  In my spare time, I take solace in farming sheep, cattle and oat crops on my farm. With a part share in a racehorse I am warming to the Sport of Kings.