This week the EduTweetOz account heads back to Victoria, with Troy Moncur taking over as host. Here are his answers to our five questions:
Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
I graduated at the end of 2000 from QUT in Brisbane. We were told if we wanted a job we needed to tick the “Go anywhere in Qld” box. I was serious about my footy at the time and just selected the regions around Brisbane. I didn’t get a placement, so I decided to visit all of the 46 or so schools in the district I was living in, meet the principal and hand in my resume. After a few days I received a call and got a full time job (contract position) at Cannon Hill State School. I still recall the overwhelming feeling of responsibility (and a healthy dose of anxiety) as I stood up the front and spoke to my brand new Grade 5/6 class…Feels like yesterday…
I worked for the school year and then had to pick up work with my father over the Christmas holidays as back then the contract ended on the last day of the school year. I repeated this process for the next two years until on one fine sunny day I was given permanency! Which meant no more working for dad over the holidays!
In 2004 I came to Mildura, Victoria for football opportunities and I taught for a year in Mildura. I went back to Brisbane for a few more years continuing teaching and starting a family. The hustle and bustle of city life was becoming wearing so we made the move back to the country (Mildura) and have been here ever since (with an annual review of getting back closer to saltwater :) ).
Over the years I have taught all grades of primary school, along being a Phys ed and ICT specialist.
Currently I’m a leading teacher at Nichols Point Primary School. I am one of 4 on Leadership and along with day to day school operations, my main responsibilities are ICT Innovation, PD, Reporting and Culture.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I feel very fortunate to be at a school like I am now. My boss is very flexible, happy to give anything a go and welcomes mistakes. I enjoy both working on my own and in a team environment. I am passionate about creating and sustaining a strong, solid and people first culture. To have the flexibility to innovate is rewarding and it’s something that is always in the forefront of my mind. I’m always asking myself how we can do things better and I like to challenge the status quo.
I play and coach a local Footy team and find both coaching and teaching very similar, often sharing and trying ideas between the two domains.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
Working with and managing people is always going to be filled with successes and learning opportunities. I enjoy seeing progress and success in others. It’s a great feeling to know that you have had a positive effect on another person, whether that is a colleague or student. In the last few years I came across the saying of ‘fail fast’, it’s something that sits comfortably with me now and I try and see opportunity and optimism in everything.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
More consistency with one organisation like AITSL running the show and less change and influence from those removed from the coal face. We have been working with AITSL for a few years now and have really enjoyed the focus on professional standards, professional learning and building of teacher capacity.
The other area I would focus on is reporting. I feel there is much more to gain by reporting in an ‘ongoing’ fashion as opposed to the traditional twice yearly report cards. My current school moved to providing feedback to parents and students fortnightly (sounds a lot more work for teachers but its actually less. Will look to explore this during the week) and the benefits for all parties are enormous.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I think it’s about connecting with others and finding like minded people who challenge each other’s views. I’m typically easy going and tend to make last minute decisions (which can be a good and bad thing..). I’m looking forward to hosting the account next week, making connections with others, discussing whatever comes up and maybe even finding a job somewhere in the near future (hopefully near saltwater!). :)