Karlie Stocker is very familiar with the beautiful surrounds of Korowa Anglican Girls’ Grammar in Glen Iris, in Melbourne’s inner-east. That’s not just because she’s taught at the school for eight years but also because she is a former student who graduated in 2004.
Karlie started at Korowa as a physical education teacher. She was promoted to Head of Cripps (middle years) this year, leading young students through one of the most important phases of their lives and their learning journey. That was something she first became passionate about during a stint as a sports coach while she was a student herself.
“I always enjoyed coaching and teaching younger children … and during my gap year was fortunate enough to spend time teaching disadvantaged children how to swim,” Karlie says. “The experience was incredible, and being surrounded by some amazing teachers during my school years definitely inspired me to consider PE teaching as a career.”
Karlie works with girls in years 6-8 to help them move into their teen years, building the skills to take on their senior years and beyond.
“At these year levels, girls are able to explore their interests and investigate different subjects before deciding what they will specialise in during their senior years,” she says.
“There is a great opportunity for their learning to be varied and different, allowing for lots of collaboration and experiential learning.
“This is done while they build the foundations for their later years of schooling and building 21st-century skills like collaboration, problem-solving and entrepreneurship.”
Learning outside the classroom is an integral part of Korowa’s Middle School programs. It allows students to experience life, and school, in other states and countries.
“Experiential learning is designed to develop girls’ independence and self-discipline and provides opportunities for interstate and overseas travel through camps, outdoor education and Korowa’s Space School adventure to the US,” Karlie says.
It’s also about learning through giving back to others, which has always been part of the philosophy at Korowa. “The Cripps program ensures that our girls learn to share of themselves and their spirit through a variety of actions,” Karlie says. “This includes our Service Learning Projects, Service First fun and friend-raising days and … the Social Service program.”
Karlie has enjoyed her role at Korowa, not only because of her own experiences at the school.
“[It] has given me the opportunity to enable young women to do and be anything they want to be,” she says. “They are able to study in an environment where gender stereotypes are removed, and pursue success in all areas.”
Korowa’s middle years’ students have female role models in staff, students and alumni.
“They see the senior girls leading the way, they meet our alumni, who are experiencing success in diverse industries, and every day they see strong female staff members leading in the school and the classroom,” Karlie says. “It shows them they can enjoy some great success in the future.”