Mrs Robyn Kristenson

Life before Girton

  • Prior to coming to Girton Grammar School, in 2014, I had been teaching in Queensland. My last position was at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane. I was with St Margaret’s for 10 years and during that time was involved in a variety of roles in addition to teaching in the Faculty of Business. The roles included: Year Level Supervisor; Head of Vocational Education and Director of Boarding.
  • In Queensland, I also managed the Vocational Education programs at St Edmund’s and St Mary’s Colleges, Ipswich and Mary McKillop College in Brisbane.
  • I came to teaching after a background in Industrial Psychology, Technical writing, and Financial Services.
  • I have the following qualifications: M.Ed., B.A., Graduate Diploma of Adult and Vocational Education

What I Love about Teaching

I love teaching for many reasons. First and foremost, for the opportunity to work with young people, to observe and work with agile minds that have the capacity to think outside the square and who challenge me daily with their take on the world around them and their ever-changing role within that world. They help to keep me young and very motivated to provide the very best opportunities I can in the classroom to provide them with the parameters and life skills that will help make them effective and responsible adults.

From my first day at Girton, I have experienced the exceptional welcoming nature of the Staff at Girton. I felt part of the team from day one. The students are polite, relaxed with the staff, always friendly and polite and very willing to volunteer to help and to undertake tasks. It is never a chore to come to work.

 

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach? 

I currently teach VCE Units 1 & 2 Business Management, Year 10 Commerce, and Year 7, 8 & 10 Religion, Society and Ethics.

VCE Business Management looks at the ways businesses manage resources to achieve objectives. The course follows the process from the first idea for a business concept, to planning and establishing a business, through to the day-to-day management of a business. It also considers changes that need to be made to ensure continued success of a business. Students step into the role of an entrepreneur, developing their own business idea and writing a business plan that puts forward their ideas for success and future growth.

Year 10 Commerce provides our students with an understanding and developing knowledge of financial literacy, the law and how it relates to them, basic economic knowledge and basic accounting skills. The curriculum is deliberately broad so that students can experience a taste of the content of VCE subjects within the Business Faculty and also flexible enough to provide the opportunity to explore areas within the above contexts that are of particular interest to the students. As an example in 2015, as the result of student requests we incorporated a topic on renting their first property.

Religion, Society & Ethics examines various religions, researching their beliefs and impact on our culture. It gives students an opportunity to explore and understand different philosophies and provides an understanding of different belief systems and cultural practices. It also examines ethical issues, how to evaluate and respond to issues with an open-mind and our impact on our own and other societies in our world.

 

My favourite classroom activity

Students enjoy activities that have them directly involved in experiential learning. They enjoy the opportunity to challenge ideas and theoretical concepts as presented. This may be as part of a class debate, a student lead tutorial or practical group task. Most students will respond well when working with others to achieve a challenging task or to solve a problem.

These activities provide students with an excellent opportunity to experience workplace roles where teamwork is important. They build their own confidence in expressing their ideas in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

 

What difference can good teaching make?

A successful student in my subjects usually has the desire to understand the world around them and to be prepared to learn and question related areas outside the narrow confines of the prescribed curriculum. They are open to new ideas and are prepared to question the status quo. They are definitely hard workers but also organised and prepared to seek feedback and to act on that feedback to constantly improve the quality of their work.

I hope that the students I teach benefit from my love of and passion for learning and the constant challenges I set myself to be the best I can at all tasks. Most importantly I hope they benefit from the compassion I demonstrate and the respect I have for every student.

 

Other Hats

I am Head of VCAL and Vocational Education. I manage the Girton Registered Training Organisation which offers two VCE/VET subjects – VCE/VET Music – Sound Production, and VCE/VET Information, Digital Media and Technologies. I also manage compliance and overall organisation of the Girton VCAL program.

I have been involved with Girton Netball as a team manager and I am currently Mic for Chess.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending as much time as possible in my garden and with my friends and family. I am also a “cricket tragic”, enjoying summer test matches and when possible, I take the opportunity to relax and enjoy local cricket matches.