Mr Dennis Garoni

Life before Girton
I grew up in Myrtleford, studied Primary Teaching in Melbourne and got my first teaching job at 21, teaching Year 6 at Brighton Grammar School. I remained at BGS for 13 years and held various roles in the Junior School including classroom teacher, Sportsmaster, Head of Humanities and Head of Curriculum. I left BGS at the end of 1992 to become the founding Head of Junior School at Girton Grammar.

What I Love about Teaching
Every day is different; every day has variety. Even after 41 years of teaching, children never fail to surprise, delight, infuriate, and inspire.  The absolute best thing about teaching is seeing how great the next adult generation is going to be. While we may well worry about the future of the planet, we needn’t worry about the quality of our future leaders and citizens.

What is the best thing about teaching at Girton?
From the day I first crossed the threshold at Girton I was impressed by the students. There aren’t many schools where a gym full of secondary students can, en-masse and impromptu, jump up and dance at an assembly in response to a tune that was being played; then settle down immediately and behave appropriately for the rest of the assembly. That really happened a couple of years ago. It speaks volumes about the culture of the school and the level of shared purpose and engagement amongst the students.

My favourite classroom activity
I enjoy collaborative learning activities where students conduct research independently and share their knowledge, teach their peers and collectively put together a finished piece of work. I also love using rhythmic, comic poetry to improve reading fluency and word attack skills (I’m a closet poet).

What difference can good teaching make?
Good teaching reaches students at a level where they can most easily access the curriculum. It is an art to make a concept understandable to a full class of students. A student cannot get on the elevator if the elevator doesn’t come down to their floor.

Other Hats
In my 27 years at Girton I have been Head of Junior School, Head of Staff, Manager of Policy and Editorial Content, Classroom teacher, LRC teacher and now I am working in the Pathways Hub, a role I love and one which will see me through to my retirement.