Life before Girton
Before teaching, I worked as a Nanny for a family of five busy boys. I worked at Girton College in the Boarding House while I was studying at University. When I graduated, I travelled to Northern Territory to teach via School of the Air and Correspondence to students in a small mining town. I then returned to Bendigo and was employed at Girton Grammar School in its Foundation Year. I’ve been here ever since!
What I Love about Teaching
I love teaching. I love being part of the journey a little person travels. I love making a positive difference in a child’s life. It’s all I ever wanted to do from when I was old enough to force my sisters and cousins to play “schools” and of course I was always the teacher and yes I had my own bell! Seeing students grow, physically, academically and emotionally over the four terms we spend together. I love the daily interaction I have with my students.
There’s a lot of wonderful things about teaching at Girton but one that really comes to mind is being able to travel the whole journey with a child. I meet them when they start Prep and then they visit me on the last day of Year 12 so I can sign their shirts….which are slightly bigger 13 years later!
What do you like best about the year level you teach?
I love getting to know the children and because they are so young they are generally so open and trusting right from the beginning of the year. I particularly love teaching siblings and watching the family grow. This year I have a girl in my class and I have previously taught her two sisters. It does make me feel old because I can recall her as a toddler visiting my classroom. It is a real privilege to be part of families lives.
What developmental characteristics are children showing?
Year Four children are curious about the world around them and they love talking about current affairs that are happening in the news. They start thinking more critically and love to share their opinions on topics with their classmates and teacher. They start developing caring and solid friendships and hopefully a strong sense of empathy.
What do students enjoy most about the Year Level?
I’m not sure what my students enjoy about Year Four. I’d like to think it is my silly stories, funny jokes and amazing dancing but really I think if you asked them they would probably say going on camp!
What classroom activity to you think the students most enjoy?
They love working hard to get their Pen Licence, the challenge of learning their times tables and doing projects. They love it when a Student Teacher La Trobe comes for a few weeks because they always bring fun activities.
One of my favourite lessons is some time in the busyness of the last week of school they write a story about what they have enjoyed, improved, loved about Year 4. Then I hand them the first piece of writing they wrote in Year 4 back in February which was about what they were looking forward to and what they want to achieve in the year. I love watching their faces as they compare the pieces of writing. I often hear things like “I can’t even remember writing this.” And “Oh my handwriting was so messy.” It’s a great way to show them how much they have achieved during the year.
What difference can good teaching make?
Sometimes people get confused and think that a successful student is someone who finishes all of their work on time and gets top marks for everything they do. In our classroom, the most successful student is the one who has improved, the child who is motivated to learn, the child who is curious about the world. The successful student doesn’t sit back and wait for the understanding to come to them. They go about their own independent learning and develop a thirst for knowledge. They listen to ideas of others and isn’t afraid to ask questions. A successful student should know how to have fun whilst learning – they should take their learning seriously but not themselves so seriously……..they are only 10! A successful student should be kind, show empathy and be able to admit they have made a mistake and learn from it.
What attributes of your own do you hope your students benefit from?
I hope my students benefit from my “tomorrow is a new day” approach. If a child has had a challenging day, they never leave my classroom at 3:15pm without a quick chat so they feel good about the next day. I care about my students and this shows them how to care too. My attitude towards having fun along the way whilst learning shows the children that feeling safe and relaxed during the school day opens you up to so much more.
- Head of Community Service
- Netball Coach
- SRC – Junior School
What are your passions or hobbies outside of work?
- Watching my own children grow up
- Travelling…hopefully to New Zealand to see my daughter once the planes are back in the air!
- Spending time on the Murray River
- Visiting family
- Reading………not proof reading reports………reading!!