Garry Collins


School of Education, The University of Queensland
Number of years teaching: 35 years in high schools; about 10 years part-time in universities

Where else have you taught?


Gladstone State High School (12 years: 1969-1981); Horsenden Hill Boys Secondary Modern in London's western suburbs (6 weeks in 1974); Ferny Grove State High School (21 years: 1982-2005); Winston Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon, USA (1 year - 1991); Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga, a satellite city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1 year - 1997); QUT; Griffith University; ACU.


What is your favourite book? Poem? Australian author?


I can't identify a single "top of the list" text but some favourite novels and plays are: 'Catch 22', 'Tristram Shandy', 'My Brother Jack', 'The Importance of Being Earnest', 'Hamlet', 'The One Day of the Year'.
Some poems I like well enough to know by heart are: 'The Geebung Polo Club', 'The Man from Ironbark', 'A Bush Christening', 'The Highwayman', 'My last Duchess', 'To his Coy Mistress', 'Gunga Din', 'Captain Bumble's Letter', and the greatest of all Australian poems, 'Butchers' by Redmond Phillips.


What is your best classroom moment?


As with texts, I find it very difficult to select single stand-outs but I recall feeling significant professional satisfaction with a series of term-long, writing and reading workshop organized units of work that I conducted with junior school classes at Ferny Grove High. Classroom operation was modelled on ideas that I first encountered in Nancie Atwell's book 'In the Middle: Writing, Reading and Learning with Adolescents'. My adaptation of these ideas was to incorporate a central focus text rather than just allowing completely open choice of writing topics. We had fun using such texts as the narrative poem 'The Highwayman' and the script of a 'Get Smart' episode.
On another tack, since I have become an enthusiastic functional grammar nerd, any classroom moment in which I can see an opportunity to explicitly focus on the way the grammar works is a good one.
 

Upcoming Events

National Conference, Melbourne

The AATE National Conference will be held in Melbourne from 30 November to 3rd December. The theme is My story flows in more than one direction: power of story, politics of voice. The program is available here; visit the conference website Early bird registration closes on 20 September. A range of prices includes $550 for personal mem...

Category:   National Conference
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 30th November 2019
Venue:   Melbourne, various locations


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English Educator of the week

Lindsay Williams and the Analytical Essay

 

The video of this presentation can be found in the members area  as part of  Masterclass 4 which was conducted in semester 2, 2018.

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Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
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