Mrs Yvette Shanley

Life before Girton

I attended school at Vermont Secondary College (Victoria, Australia) and the West Island British International School (Hong Kong) before studying at La Trobe and Deakin Universities. My formal qualifications are:

  • Bachelor of Arts (LaTrobe);
  • Graduate Diploma of  Education (Latrobe)
  • Masters of Education, with a focus on TESOL and Learning (Social-Psychology & Culture) (Deakin)
  • Certificate IV Business Management
  • Certificate in Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)

I commenced work at Girton Grammar School in 2008, after teaching in such places as Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Quarry Hill Primary School, Flora Hill Secondary College, East Loddon College, Flora Hill Primary School and Wedderburn College.

What I Love about Teaching

I love the challenge that follows from believing that each student is talented in socially valuable ways. I love discovering and developing the talents as well as facilitating the overall development of each student. School involves and encourages creative, critical and ethical thinking, communication and social skills, knowledge of society, and involvement in productive work and recreation.  I value the relationships that develop with students. I am impressed and inspired to witness their progress and to learn of the successes of our graduates.

I feel honoured to be part of the school and to know that management and peers support and encourage staff, students and the wider community to be their best.

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

As a member of the Learning Resource Centre with a passion for learning and Student Welfare, I provide assistance to students in terms of their social and emotional wellbeing, Literacy, and other special learning needs.  Literacy and EAL classes support the students’ Literacy in all subjects especially the subject of English. Case Management Sessions and Special Approved Programs (Literacy) focus on skills required for personal autonomy and independent living.

I enjoy teaching students to discover their strengths and talents, to face and overcome such things as negative self-image, defence mechanisms and avoidance tactics.  I seek to build their confidence to learn and develop as whole persons capable of achieving their goals. I enjoy devising learning experiences based on the diverse social, emotional and learning styles and needs of students.

My favourite classroom activity

A favourite activity involves a class of Senior School students, and individually or in pairs, they take an issue or theme from the English class text, preparing notes and a presentation so that they as experts lead contextual class discussion as Socratic teachers.  The sessions are always lively, critical, creative and productive. Over time, each student serves as an expert, a leader or chairperson, thereby experiencing responsibility for their topic and accountability to peers. The strategy is based on the desire of all students for love, recognition and social acceptance – hence their concern to interact appropriately with others.

What difference can good teaching make?

Good teaching brings into reality the potential of each student, and convinces each student that s/he is valued, valuable and can make a positive difference in the world. Each student is encouraged to use talents to develop and participate fully in class, to use creative and critical thinking, effective communication and social skills, and current understandings of the world.  Our job as teachers is managing students and the subject, theory and practice, the psychosocial realities of teenagers in school and non-school contexts and to prepare them for adult roles, to use present interests and abilities of students and to confront them with manageable challenges and potential new and worthy interests, and to provide each student with feedback that is positive, and encouraging, not just summative marks or grades.

Other Hats

I have many years of experience in the Performing Arts in acting, directing, managing, writing, and teaching 1:1 and in conducting workshops. I enjoy live theatre and the interactions between actors and the audience.  I have served as voluntary Office Manager at The Atisha Centre, Assistant to the Directors for the Bendigo Theatre Company’s ‘Les Miserables’ and Personal Assistant to the Principal at Flora Hill Primary School.

I enjoy my non-work time with my husband and our daughter, listening to music from across the spectrum from Italian arias to modern tunes, watching movies, travelling, and experiencing various culinary delights as well as experimenting with flavours and cooking techniques.