Corinne Shaw has been teaching ever since she could talk. Being the oldest of four children and a daughter of a teacher, she always found herself educating her younger siblings at every chance she could get.
The current Year 1/2 teacher has been teaching at Girls Grammar since 2004 and was the educator who implemented and led the inaugural prep class at the school.
Since then Corinne has gone on to watch four classes of her preps graduate and has even had the pleasure of seeing one past student start their very own teaching journey at university.
Corinne said her long career at Girls Grammar is anchored by the community feeling that is hard to recreate at other schools.
“Girls Grammar has a sense of community that I don’t think a lot of schools have and a lot of teachers don’t get to experience as a part of their career. It’s that real feel of belonging and being almost like a family,” Corinne said.
“I grew up in a small school, so it just felt comfortable and you get to see the girls go all the way through their schooling. I think you would lose that if you were somewhere really big or somewhere where it wasn’t a P to 12 school. We get to see them from when they start to when they finish schooling.”
While Corinne is now a seasoned teacher, her start in the profession didn’t happen until she turned 21.
“I didn’t actually go straight to uni from school, I worked for quite a few years beforehand and I didn’t go until I was 21 and knew what I really wanted to be,” she said.
However, Corinne said her transition in to teaching was bound to happen as she was raised by a family of teachers.
“I think I have always wanted to be a teacher and have always been teaching my siblings. I’m the eldest of four and my mum was a teacher and her sisters were teachers, so I have been surrounded by teachers and the profession for quite some time,” Corinne said.
Corinne said she is often asked why she doesn’t feel the need to teach elsewhere.
“People do ask if I want to go and see what it is like at other places and I did six months of supply teaching before I started here, and I saw what was out there and if it’s not broke then why fix it,” she said.
“I think you really have to experience Girls Grammar to really understand what it is like. I have had people come here for Gaia Festival and say that the school just has a good feel about it.”
When Corinne isn’t in the classroom teaching she can be found on stage. Growing up in Theodore, she regularly took part in dance lessons and continues to dance today.
“I grew up in Theodore, but we didn’t have a dance teacher in Theodore. Mum had always wanted to dance too but she is one of seven kids, so she never got the opportunity because they couldn’t afford it back then,” Corinne said.
“So, when I showed an interest in dancing mum organized for the dance teacher from Moura to come over and start dance lessons in Theodore. I always loved it and I started tap dancing and it was more my style then ballet.
“I am a part of an adult tap-dancing group now, so I love tap dancing and I have been in that for about 11 years and we perform every year at the dance festival.”
Despite her love for dancing, Corinne said her passion for teaching would always remain strong.
“I love early childhood, I love seeing them come into school with only basics and then watching them develop. You look back at the end of the year and realised just how far they have come,” she said.
“Just seeing them develop so quickly and watching them reach their milestones right in front of you is such as rewarding experience.”