When Melanie Ransome went off to college in 1966 she really had no idea that a teaching career would become her profession.
Mrs Ransome took up the opportunity to attend the Mercy Teachers College in Melbourne on the proviso she returned to Mildura to teach.
“All the convents had one place for a girl from their area, but no one from Mildura wanted to go that year, so the head of teaching at St Joseph’s College asked me, even though I went to secondary school somewhere else,” she said.
True to her word, Mrs Ransome began teaching at St Josephs College Mildura in 1968.
She might have fallen into it, but the science and biology teacher quickly grew to love her job. “The thing I love about teaching is it keeps you in touch with the young people,” she said.
“You understand them better, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”
Mrs Ransome, who retired at the end of 2017 after 50 years in the classroom, said teaching had changed a lot in that time.
“There was only a handful of teachers here in the beginning, so I taught in any area I was needed – maths, science, art,” she said.
“There would have been less than 200 students and only a few buildings – we’ve grown a lot since I started.
“The curriculum has also changed a lot, and the term structure is different”
“We used to operate under three terms of 12 to 13 weeks, and now we have four terms of roughly 10 weeks.”
Mrs Ransome also remembers when computers were introduced to schools.
“We had to learn how to use computers and keep records electronically, and I prided myself on picking it up quickly,” she said.
“Now all the kids have got computers, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s great for the students who are keen, disciplined and self-motivated.”