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Marissa Pinkas

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Marissa Pinkas is an experienced educator with 20 years of dedication in varied educational environments in South Africa, Western Australia and Victoria. Currently she is completing her Masters in Education at the University of Melbourne, specialising in Collaborative Learning. Marissa is an expert on the Context section of the VCE English curriculum.

Where were you born?

In colourful dramatic Johannesburg, South Africa!

What other jobs have you had?

I am currently a tutor for schools across Melbourne, for students from years 7–12. I present at conferences with professional development programs for teaching staff. I was Education Co-ordinator at the Jewish Museum of Australia from 2006—2008. I have worked in a wide range of teaching and research roles both in South Africa and Australia.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I am an expert on the context section in Year 11 and 12 VCE. I have spoken on ABC Sunday School on Imaginative Landscape. I discuss and explore the contexts ideas, using mind maps, newspaper articles and personal histories.

I tutor multiple students in English from Year 7 to Year 12, from various schools in Melbourne. I teach students how to brainstorm, plan and write analytical text essays using my “Free Mrs Smith” methodology. This methodology draws an analogy between popular courtroom TV dramas and the way that exam questions are frequently phrased, and makes it easier for students to develop a suitable structure for their response.  (Download the example PDF, and see the session outline on this site).

I developed this methodology to help students understand that an analytical essay is a highly structured answer to a question, in which the topics are evidence for their contention, answer or argument. I teach this in conjunction with teaching the TEEL (Topic, Explanation, Evidence, Linking word) method of planning an essay.

What are you passionate about?

Writing, reading, creating and communicating; and my two gorgeous girls!

Testimonials

Marissa is an enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable speaker that we were very happy to have at our school.

—C.Lambrianidis, Point Cook Senior Secondary College, October 2014

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