Head of Humanities
Originally from California, Eric Ryan came to Australia for a holiday – and never left. Arriving with a degree in social sciences from San Jose University, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne before beginning his teaching career in Melbourne’s east.
“I was drawn to education because I love sharing stories – Humanities subjects allow you to do just that on a regular basis,” says Eric, who has held various leadership roles throughout his career including Year 9 Coordinator and Head of Junior School. He joined MLC in 2017 as Head of Humanities.
As a Geography specialist leading MLC’s dynamic team of Humanities educators, Eric is passionate about designing authentic learning experiences and imparting real-world skills to students.
“We know that today’s school students will have diverse careers and that a flexible skill set is important. Memorising information has been superseded by teaching students how to find answers – on their own and in teams.”
“In exploring contemporary global issues, Humanities students describe, evaluate, comment on, identify, compare, contrast and outline events, scenarios, plans and processes using ICT, data sources and personal experiences. These are high value contemporary skills and MLC is at the forefront of teaching and learning in this way.”
Eric values MLC’s technology-rich learning environment and the way the digital era has enriched the curriculum.
“I love supporting what I teach using visual stimuli such as video. Canvas, MLC’s online learning management system, also enhances our curriculum delivery by allowing teachers and students to easily share amazing resources.”
“The culture of learning and innovation makes teaching at MLC an incredible professional opportunity. When I attend conferences and see what’s happening in education more broadly, I appreciate how far ahead we are here at MLC.”
Eric says the work ethic, curiosity and enthusiasm of MLC students means he loves coming to work every day.
“MLC students create websites, build structures, write design briefs, conduct fieldwork and play sport with energy I haven’t experienced before. Every day I think to myself, ‘what could possibly come next?’”
Deputy Head of Mathematics, Senior School Fitchett House Coordinator
A highly experienced Mathematics educator who has taught in multiple contexts both within Australia and the UK, Tracey Blunden’s role as Deputy Head of Mathematics sees her managing a wide range of responsibilities including students’ participation in Mathematics competitions, co-ordinating the accelerated studies program and enhancing the Mathematics Department’s learning resources within the College learning management system, Canvas.
As a member of MLC’s innovative Mathematics faculty, Tracey enjoys working with students to help them build confidence and mathematical understanding.
“We actively encourage the development of a ‘growth mindset’ in maths,” explains Tracey. “We help students move from a fixed mindset, to using strategies that celebrate mistakes as opportunities to learn and understand.”
“Parents also play a key role here, by supporting their daughters to see maths as a subject they can succeed in, and that getting the wrong answer simply means you’re one step closer to solving the problem.”
A key element of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education equation, Tracey says MLC’s Mathematics curriculum is designed to help students develop invaluable 21st century skills in problem solving and thinking outside the box.
“If can often take a few attempts to work out the solution to a maths problem, but that’s the beauty of the subject. Maths helps students think creatively and logically, and to apply different methodologies to achieve an outcome.”
A former IB Co-ordinator and Mathematics examiner at A-Levels (UK), IB and VCE level, as well as her leading role in MLC’s Mathematics faculty, Tracey is also Senior School House Co-ordinator for Fitchett.
“I enjoy the opportunity to focus on both curriculum and student wellbeing in my roles at the College,” she says. “Building relationships with students is one of the best parts of my job. It’s particularly rewarding to support senior students through their final years of school, when they are juggling multiple academic and co-curricular demands.”
“MLC is a very supportive learning community. It’s a dynamic, fast-paced learning environment where staff and students are welcoming, caring and engaged. I truly enjoy coming to work here every day.”