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 have always wanted to be a teacher even back when I was I High School student, however there seemed to be a stigma at the time that ‘anyone’ could be a teacher (I know understand how wrong I was!). I worked in the mining technologies industry for 7 years prior to becoming a teacher, firstly as a Software Engineer but then in various other roles as a Product Manager, Systems Specialist and then worked FIFO on a gold mine with the software from my previous employer. I was moving up the corporate ladder with a hefty salary but was unhappy. It was my wife who reminded me that I had been thinking of becoming a teacher, and ultimately urged me to consider it seriously.I enrolled in Primary education, but was offered a job in High School, six weeks into my first semester during a practicum. I was a Japanese teacher for two years in the public system, and moved over to my current school (the school I went to as a student) last year to teach IT. I took on the Digital Technologies Coordinator role at the beginning of this year as part of the Curriculum Team, endeavouring to build our school into a leader in Digital Technologies. My department currently looks after Digital Media and Business Studies, too, so I have a variety of hats that I wear.Outside of my own school, I was lucky enough to become a Google Certified Innovator (#GoogleEI) this year as part of their #SYD17 cohort. I am also part of the TeachMeetWA (@wapln) administration team cohosting #TMWAreach twice a term.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
The students always inspire me! Walking into that class, I am always encouraged to do my best for them.Moreover, my professional learning network through my school, TeachMeetWA, the Google Certified Innovators and more widely through Twitter.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
Rewards – the opportunity to utilise technology, for me it is the ultimate game-changer for education- being part of the dramatic revolution in education that is happening as we speak- the ‘aha’ moments in the classroom – that face when students get it is pricelessChallenges – preparing students for an unknown future in a time- having to ‘cover the curriculum’ when we are trying to change to do more cross-curricular project based learning- the media’s obsession with what teachers should be doing better
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Where do I start!? Ken Robinson’s vision is a starting point. I think we should be moving to a system like @hightechhigh – authentic, cross-curricular assessment covering a small portion of the curriculum using project-based learning. Get rid of grades, get rid of year levels, get rid of ‘the curriculum’ or at least only cover the key points, get rid of university entrance exams and more! Focus on the love of learning!
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz is a great opportunity to showcase and share some of the best teaching knowledge in Australia. I am hopeful that more teachers will take on the challenge so that we can build a shared repository of knowledge throughout the country.