Mrs Jane Rankin

Jane RANKINLife before Girton Grammar School

I completed a Bachelor of Education in Language and Literature at the University of Melbourne. I completed post graduate studies in Adolescent Literature at the University of Fiji as well as post graduate studies in Indonesian from Darwin University. Before working at Girton, I taught at Rochester Secondary College, Merbein Secondary College, Wanganui Park Secondary College, Maffra Secondary College, Catholic College Sale and Catholic College Bendigo. I also lived in Indonesia for two years where I taught at Medan International School, Sumatra.

Things I love about teaching

It is wonderful to teach students in Year Seven and then spend the next six years watching them grow into talented, skilled and wonderful young adults by the end of Year Twelve.  I also love teaching because I have always loved learning. There is nothing more exciting that learning new things daily, along with the students I teach.

My son attended Girton from the start of Year Seven, one year before I began at the school. As a parent, I was very impressed with the quality of teaching, the personal care teachers gave him and the positive attitude towards leaning they instilled in him. As a staff member now, these are still the best things about teaching at Girton- highly skilled colleagues who care about their students and students who want to learn.

My Subject

I believe having good English skills is the cornerstone of all learning.  Language enables us to be informed, to explore other fictional worlds, to think critically about the world around us, to build positive relationships with others, to laugh and to express our identity. These are all skills and qualities that contribute to being successful and happy adults and enable us to be lifelong learners.

My favorite classroom activity

This is an activity I do to show students the dynamic nature of language; it is constantly changing to reflect social and technological changes.  I give them a passage to read where the meanings of words have changed dramatically over the last 500 years. The passage makes little sense when you consider the meaning of these words today. For example, the word girl used to mean ‘a young person of either sex’, sad once meant ‘satisfied’ and black used to mean ‘white’! Words such as ‘gry,’ meaning the dirt under your fingernails or ‘velleity’ meaning ‘a mild desire but too slight to motivate any action’ have become obsolete, even though these concepts still exist today. Students are always fascinated by these changes and become more aware of how language is still changing today.

What difference can good teaching make?

A good teacher is someone who is passionate about their subject area and enjoys sharing their knowledge and passion with young people. It can encourage students to become lifelong readers, good communicators and people who can think critically about everything they read in the media. If you enjoy being in the classroom, then your students will be inspired by the sheer joy of learning about the world around them and they will carry this into their adult life.

Other hats

My Co-curricular activity is basketball. Outside work, I enjoy very domestic activities such as being with family and friends, cooking, sewing and knitting. My greatest passion remains language; I love reading, learning about language and travelling to other countries to be immersed in other languages and cultures.