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

Atherton SHS Presents

Atherton State High School Presents will be the first activity for the Townsville Branch in 2019. The program is designed to share experiences and practical advice relating to the different contexts of English. Full details are available here. Where: Pimlico SHS When: Saturday 16 February, 2019 Time: AGM - 8:30, first sess...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   8:30 AM
Date:   Saturday 16th February 2019
Venue:   Pimlico High School
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


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English Educator of the week

Rachael Christopherson
Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Number of years teaching:
25.  12 years at BGGS

Where else have you taught?
St Edmund's College, Ipswich (all boys)
Mt Alvernia College, Kedron (all girls)
Downlands College, Toowoomba (co-ed boarding with Ag Studies programme)

 

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Blog Feed

Editor of Words'Worth - Expression of interest

Oct 04 2017
Words'Worth is the journal of The Englis...

Grammar myths

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