What courses do you teach?
Australian Life & Culture (Thurs pm), and Improve Your Grammar for Work (Wed evenings).
On Mondays and Tuesdays I teach young adult migrants at the Epping Campus of Melbourne Polytechnic.
What have you studied/qualifications?
I studied Law and Commerce at Melbourne Uni and then did a graduate Diploma of Education because I wanted to teach people about the law in simple language. Later, I did my teaching qualifications for EAL.
I also studied “French for Foreigners” in France for 18 months at the University of Poitiers.
What do you love most about your job?
I love seeing the happy smiles when students understand, grow in confidence, and feel good about themselves and the class – and I love learning from them about how languages and cultures do things differently. Also I find English grammar endlessly fascinating!
What experience and other skills have you gained?
I taught Law subjects in NZ, and for several years I was a lawyer in NZ working in the courts and in England in family law.
I have moved country several times, usually because of my husband’s work – to New Zealand, then to England, then to France. When I came back here after being away for 17 years, I felt like a migrant yet again! Also I gave birth to our two children in France!
What do you love doing outside of work?
I love meeting friends, long walks with lots of chat and a coffee after … but I also love to be places that feel away from the city – in bushland close to Melbourne, in the mountains, on a deserted beach, by a river, or in the wide open spaces of the outback. I’ve been keen on orienteering since my mid-20s. I don’t much like camping or sleeping on the ground any more, but I still do the orienteering.
I also belong to a choir. You would NOT want to hear me solo! But singing in a choir with the harmonies all around you, that’s wonderfully uplifting.
What were you going to be ‘when you grew up’?
As a child, I always answered “happy” but really I’ve always loved teaching. In my early time as a lawyer, before my first case in court I was very nervous until a friend said, “Don’t worry Laurie. Just explain things to the Judge as if he was one of your students in a classroom. You’ll be fine.” It was excellent advice J… I think I began teaching when I was about 9, playing blackboard games with my friend Jan!