To kick off 2017, please welcome Ben Kirkman (@ben46k)

 

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?

nt38e3eeI have worked in a number of Primary schools across South West Sydney as a mainstream and special education teacher. I have always enjoyed a challenge and have often put my hand up to undertake a variety of roles within the Department of Education. During my career I have undertaken roles as an Assistant Principal, Itinerant Support Teacher Behaviour, Disability Programs Consultant and have worked as a Deputy Principal in two schools. In 2017 I am about to begin a substantive role as Deputy Principal at Prestons PS which is near Liverpool in New South Wales.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

The three main stakeholders within schools motivate and inspire me. I want to ensure that public education in NSW consists of outstanding teachers and I aim to serve them as part of a supportive executive. I have worked with wonderful staff (teachers, SLSO, Office admin) and their commitment to student learning inspires me.  I want parents of public education students to be proud of the system that their children are educated in and am motivated to ensure that home/school relationships are a priority of the schools that I work in. Lastly, the students are what drive me the most, especially those who require additional support or assistance. I am lucky to say that each day, I drive to work knowing that there is nothing else I would rather do!

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

On a personal note, my biggest reward working in education is seeing that ‘teachers make the difference’ and that in the schools that I have led, student growth is linked to quality teaching and can be backed up by data. I have been fortunate to work with amazing teachers in wonderful schools that each day make life changing differences to students, families and communities.

The biggest challenge for me from a big picture perspective is the national conversation regarding education. (As these conversations often reflect policy).  I have always been interested in words like vision, culture, purpose and why… and I think Australian society in general is often unsure about what they want schools to be. What is innovation? How innovative do we as a society want schools to be? What is fair? What content does society value? What skills drive the workforce? How do you measure engagement? Do we value compliance? To drive conversation around those themes, we need to understand the why… What is our purpose? I think that is a big challenge moving forward that affects policy and decisions that influences how successful we can be.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

If I had the ability to make changes to the education system my first three priorities would be.

  1. A Pre School attached to each Primary School to support early intervention.
  2. A continuation of or improvement to the Local Schools Local Decisions reform.
  3. A funding model that is sustainable, valued and equitable at a National level.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

The poisoned chalice of hosting on the last week of the holidays! My intention over the week is to support all educators in beginning 2017 with a growth mindset, inspired to make a difference in students’ lives. I hope to have conversations about instruction, current research, goal setting, relationships and hopefully provide a platform where each contributor can share ideas and thoughts that can support quality instruction and build positive school cultures.

2016, the year in review

2016 has seen a number of behind the scenes changes at EduTweetOz. The account’s original administrators Donelle Batty, Corinne Campbell and Michelle Hostrup chose to hand the reigns over to Jennifer English, Allison Fairey and Glenn Langford so they could focus on other projects including a return to school and two promotions. Mark Johnson also chose to hand over his administrator role and we thank him for all that he did in 2015 and 2016. The current administrators thank Donelle, Michelle and Corinne for having the brilliant idea to initiate and develop this account and wish them well in their future endeavours. The administration of this account is purely voluntary and the success of the account is due in no small part to the hours they spent developing and running EduTweetOz.

Allie, Glenn and I would like to wish all our followers a happy and healthy rest during the summer. The account will be resting until late January.

We would like to acknowledge all of the wonderful weekly hosts we have had this year and thank them for making EduTweetOz the amazing network of educators that it is. Below is a list of all of our 2016 hosts and a quote from those who answered our blog questions about what EduTweetOz is.

@mauriziovespa  Maurizio Vespa

I believe EduTweetOz provides an opportunity to share people’s expertise and life experiences:

  • Opportunity to share knowledge
  • Inspires dialogue and fuels critical thinking
  • Builds relationships and broadens our individual networks

@WesHeberlein Wes Heberlein

As more and more in education accept social media use in a professional capacity I see EduTweetOz playing a leadership role in connecting teachers and being a platform for shared discovery.

@shortcomp Kelly Bauer

EduTweetOz, to me, is a form of professional development, and the idea of having guest tweeters means that there is constantly a different perspective of education presented.

@robbielove79 Robert Love

I see EduTweetOz as playing a vital role in connecting teachers and leaders to share good practice and challenge our individual conceptions of education.

@rtillsley Robert Tillsley

I see EduTweetOz as being vital for the cross-pollination of ideas. Teachers, principals and more have taken to twitter to support each other to be better educators.

@hostbrian Brian Host

I have seen twitter over the past five years become a way educators can create a culture of guerrilla professional development. EduTweetOz has been one of the longest standing institutions in the twitter sphere for education in Australia and I am proud to continue on its heritage.

@nickpastianas Nick Patsianas

@TiffanySinton Tiffany Sinton 

@kimbowa Kim Flintoff

@JoelBSperanza Joel Speranza

I’m relatively new to twitter but I have loved following EduTweetOz from the moment I joined. Each new curator has offered a unique perspective and each has shared their passions and broadened my views as a result.

@Lilylauren Lauren Sayer

I see EdutweetOz playing a huge role in the flattening of educational structures so that everyone gets the chance to share their ideas and innovate.  I think that Edutweetoz allows the Australian educational community to embrace the collective genius and begin to design new ideas that change bring about collective change.

@Kazegraham Karen Graham

EduTweetOz is exactly what I value in education. Collaboration. A platform to share and be connected. Everybody is on an equal platform with all opinions valued.

@jjash Jenny Ashby

EdutweetOZ can be a place where liked minded people come together and share ideas, inspire, question and discuss all things about learning.

@asteroidproject Damian Marley

@pipcleaves Pip Cleaves

@gabrielletrinca Gabrielle Trinca

@nichall17 Nic Hall

EduTweetOz gives teachers the opportunity to share their passions. It provides a platform where teachers can explore what is going on around them, discussing ideas, sharing successes, lamenting failures, but most importantly giving each other encouragement. EduTweetOz gives a voice to teachers like myself.

@drnomyn Naomi Barnes

@MatthewBeggs Matthew Beggs

I think EduTweetOz not only helps provide a chance for teachers to interact with each other but it also provides us with opportunities to see us as people. I think sometimes we can get so bogged down in our working life that we can forget to actually remember that we are people as well, with our own things that makes us tick and drive us. I think I just want to find the things that make us inside and outside the classroom, as if we can have a greater understanding and acceptance of the varied experiences that we have, it ultimately gives us a greater appreciation of the things that make every single stakeholder in the educational experience tick.

@reemeyers Sherrie Myers

EduTweetOz provides a platform to share, inform and discuss on education.

@elketeaches Elke Schneider

EduTweetOz is a great place for discussion to occur about education in Australia. Twitter allows us to remove hierarchical labels, which can often get in the way at school or education events, and let us have real conversations about issues in education. EduTweetOz is also a great way to connect Australian educators and this may help educators feel like they belong and also build their Professional Learning Networks (PLN). It doesn’t matter if we agree on an issue or not, we all know that the reasons behind our, sometimes passionate, tweets is a love of teaching and learning.

@janiekibble Jane Kibble

It’s always interesting to read of people’s special interests and the teaching and learning environments that they exist in. This account allows people to showcase their passions and their special skills.

@robbielove79,   @misscmorrison Robert Love and Chantelle Morrison

C: I’m excited about the collaboration and networking – we’re all in this together!

@mrascience Vatche Ansourian

EduTweetOz allows educators a powerful platform to be able to discuss and bring up issues in education. It is a wonderful way to showcase what teachers are doing and allow them to voice their concerns and thoughts in a safe place.

@aly_ciab9 Alycia Bermingham

The varied discussions are so tremendously important to opening eyes and minds to new perspectives.

@michelle_neil Michelle Neil

I see EduTweetOz as being that stepping stone to collaboration, particularly  in STEM vs education. There are a LOT of scientists and science communicators here on Twitter.

@yvetteposh  Yvette Poshoglian

My teaching eyes were opened when I began using twitter as a learning and networking tool. While working with pre-service teachers finishing their university studies, I implored them to join twitter and underscored how important social media is in developing their networks and in particular how useful threads like #edutweetoz are. I have met loads of colleagues through twitter who I now work with in a professional capacity. The movers and shakers in our profession are on twitter. The conversation is happening right here.

@violet_verbena Violet Verbena

@DALynch46 Danielle Lynch

@wrenasmir Craig Smith

I feel that EduTweetOz provides a valuable opportunity to keep the momentum of dialogue going week to week between all tweeting teachers in Australia. We all need to keep talking, keep thinking, keep identifying needs and conjuring solutions, and initiatives like EduTweetOz I feel are helping work towards this.

@angelaryall93  Angela Ryan

@OliviaIlic Olivia Ilic

@EduTweetOz is about dialogue.

@eduemum Sally-Anne Robertson

EduTweetOz is a fabulous resource for bringing together educators in a non-commercial, collegial manner. I love that each week we are introduced to others who are involved in education who bring their various backgrounds, experiences and opinions to the “Twitter table”.

@joclyne1 Jo Clyne

I love twitter as an educational networking tool. I’m excited that through accounts like EduTweetsOz educators can access an international peer group to provide ideas, support and encouragement for their teaching practice.

@mrkrndvs Aaron Davis

Giving voice to some of the amazing educators on the web.

@aliceleung Alice Leung

EduTweetOz is a great way for teachers to share their passion of teaching and learning with the wider Australian community and the wider global community.

@jimlloyd82 Jim Lloyd

The account is a great idea, and has had many great educators as host during my time on Twitter. It’s a good forum for hearing from a variety of different educators (something I value highly – vive la difference!).

@debsnet Deborah Netolicky

I find EduTweetOz a wonderful opportunity to get to know a range of Australian educators by experiencing their ways of hosting the account and engaging with their diverse interests and approaches.

While I think the power of EduTweetOz is in the community, not the host.

@scottmillmanEDU Scott Millman

EduTweetOz was one of the first accounts I followed when I joined Twitter, and I love the shared experience. Twitter debates can be vicious and polarising (I’m looking at you, Angry British EduTwitter), so it’s nice that Australian educators have this shared account that values collegiality, community and connection. (I mean, EduTweetUK would last about a minute!)

I recently said that EduTweetOz is a great way to taste someone’s brain and decide if you want a second helping.

@wentale Wendy Taleo

@benjaminzonca1 Ben Zonca

Keeping the conversation going, whatever that conversation may be, is incredibly important, and EduTweetzOz is the perfect platform for a diverse selection of educators to do exactly that. Giving a voice to teachers brings them out of their individual context, offering both the host account, and those they interact with a chance to challenge perspectives, be challenged themselves, and to strengthen the Twitter’s educational community.

@annadelconte Anne Van Der Graaf

EduTweetOz helps keep teachers informed about educational issues in Australia. It is a support network and a forum for teasing out ideas.

To end 2016, generate some excitement for Anne Van Der Graaf! (@annadelconte)

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Anne Van Der Graaf

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?

Teaching ‘for real’ began for me in a primary setting for a private girls’ school in 1980. We were the first year of the Commonwealth Scholarship students that were not bonded and so we had to find our own way in the teaching world and apply for positions.

When I was at school I was hoping to work for the National Parks and Wildlife Services or be a geneticist – ironically, never a ‘boring old teacher’! While I was deciding between the two I took a break to ‘go bush’ and set off to work on a sheep station in central Queensland for a couple of years. Here I became the governess, teaching correspondence lessons to the three eldest children, the jillaroo chasing sheep and cattle on a motorbike and the nanny for the pre-schooler twins during out of school hours. To my surprise and joy I found that the children and I had fun learning together. It was then that I knew that this teaching caper was just the thing for me.

After four years of teaching, our four children were born at intervals and I took eighteen years leave. You have to know your limtations.

In 2002 I decided that it was time to return to my chosen profession before it was too late. Since then I have been a temporary casual teacher at the one Primary School in South West Sydney. Over the years I have been involved with community programs, support teaching, relieving from face to face teaching, sharing classroom teaching roles and EAL/D teaching. In fact now, I can actually confidently call myself an EAL/D specialist.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

This may sound corny but it’s definitely our students who are my greatest inspiration and motivation. We are a multicultural school and there is never a dull moment or a day without a laugh. I enjoy trying to create authentic learning experiences for our students that are challenging enough to be interesting and yet accessible for every one of them. I hold Twitter responsible for pointing me to new resources and different methods as well as ideas and people to learn from. Many people with whom I’ve worked have been inspiring but over the past couple of years my chief encourager has been my dear friend and amazing EAL/D educator, Cindy Valdez- Adams @tesoloz whom I met through Twitter. This year she has invited me to complete the ‘Teaching English Language Learners’ course, the PETAA ‘Grammar and Teaching’ course and the NSW Department’s new course ‘Teaching students from a refugee background’ at Fairfield Public School. I thank my principal Teresa Gosche for allowing me to pursue my PDP goals.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

It is rewarding to be able to share ideas and be validated for work not only in your own little patch, but across a wider professional learning network both face to face as well as through the internet. It is rewarding for our students to be able to produce, save and share what they are learning and doing to a wider audience through the use of technology and social media.

It is challenging to make the best choices. We have limited time with our students. How can we use our time and theirs effectively to be systematic and thorough as we teach them skills and understandings and to prepare them for the great unknown, which is the future?

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

By ‘ability’ do you mean, wisdom, knowledge, expertise, magical wand? I have seen many changes over the years. Our society has changed and will keep on changing … there are no silver bullets. As teachers more and more is required of us. We are meant to be experts in everything. Teachers need to be supported to be able to keep up with the increasing demands that are being placed on them and to do the best for each of their students. We need to have the funds to up-skill our teachers in areas pertinent to them and their schools..

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

EduTweetOz helps keep teachers informed about educational issues in Australia. It is a support network and a forum for teasing out ideas. This week I hope to use EduTweetOz as a means for educators to share their current successes and learning experiences as well as their hopes for the year to come.

Ben Zonca in da EduTweetOz house! (@benjaminzonca1)

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Ben Zonca…plus one

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?

My path to education came after, and was inspired by, an extended foray into the music industry. I had no intention of becoming a teacher after high school, and remember few of my own teachers fondly – I was the definition of a disengaged student throughout secondary school. After some success as a classical musician, producer and recording engineer, I married a teacher, and was inspired to follow in her footsteps! From there my passion grew, and have since had roles in primary and secondary music education, MYP and Literacy coordinator in the middle years, and am currently teaching Grade 4 in a PYP school where I also coordinate international education and coach literacy.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

The incredible and often untapped potential of young people; when given the tools to critically and creatively engage in big ideas, to consider the values and beliefs of others, to critically explore multiple perspectives, and to follow their passions, young people flourish, and demonstrate the need for an education system that moves forward with the world.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I think I’m stating the obvious, but navigating an expanding curriculum, and an increasingly complex world is challenging, but packaging of this into something relevant, challenging, engaging, and worthwhile of exploration is a challenge that brings with it great rewards. Working alongside students who are actively building an understanding of the world around them, and their significant place in it, is the reason I continue to develop my practice.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I’m a huge advocate of the International Baccalaureate as an educational framework that values students as the guiding voice in the classroom, and recognizes young people as an integral part of a globalized society, and believe that a lot can be taken from this and used to strengthen national programs worldwide.

Educators on Twitter, I think at least generally, are more predisposed to keeping up-to-date with movements in education, and in an ideal world this would be the mindset of all educators. Unfortunately though, this may never be the case, but we can hope!

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

Keeping the conversation going, whatever that conversation may be, is incredibly important, and EduTweetzOz is the perfect platform for a diverse selection of educators to do exactly that. Giving a voice to teachers brings them out of their individual context, offering both the host account, and those they interact with a chance to challenge perspectives, be challenged themselves, and to strengthen the Twitter’s educational community.

No, it’s not *that* Taleo – Wendy Taleo in the EduTweetOz hot seat (@wentale)

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Wendy Taleo

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?

My career spans from milking cows as my first job, undergraduate degree in stuff I can hardly remember, living in different countries and training in my second language to where I am now ~ happily ensconced as a learning technologist in a dual sector university at the ‘outpost’ campus. I’ve worked in a few different sectors and through that process I realised that education was the one for me. My current roles is a mix of systems support for the Learning Management System through to academic support and training on usage of the LMS. I’m pursuing my Masters of Arts in stuff I hope I can remember and use (Online and Distance Education) and continue to jump feet first into way too many fantastic open education opportunities.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

Curiosity about the way things are and the way things could be.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I’ll modify that question to include ed+tech. The rewards are being able to see technology being put to the best use for the student experience. Rewards in getting others to see that technology is not something to be feared or controlled but to be used. The challenge to encourage more people to push past the ‘luddite’ factor and find uses for technology in expressing themselves and helping others express themselves. The challenge to explain to others that I find sometimes non-screen time is the best learning tool and even sometimes even 42 won’t be the answer.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

   What could be done
   To better the bed we lie in
   What could be said
   To make roses bloom
   Each step that we take
   Each course that we make
   Each attitude we throw
   Effects the system.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

My hope this week is to survive, really. EduTweetOz will survive, with me or without me. The vast majority of my twitter connections and online study and interaction happen with people that are 3 or more timezones away. I want to connect with other educators in this region and in particular, those ed-tech creatures. By raising some issues, discussing and debating, we can be motivated to keep on going!

Put your fingers to the keyboard for Scott Millman, this week’s EduTweetOz host (@scottmillmanEDU)

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Scott Millman

 

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 originally studied to become a diplomat: modern languages and the history of international relations. There was a federal government election while I was at uni, however, and I realised that (a) I couldn’t support the new government’s foreign policy, and (b) I’m actually quite a tactless and undiplomatic person. As a lark, I decided to try an education subject that had a school-based practicum. If I liked prac enough, I bargained with myself, I’d do an education degree. It was a transformative experience, so the rest, as they say…

I started as a History and English teacher, but I’ve had a crack at Visual Art, Science, Human Relationships Education and Digital Technologies, too. I became a Head of Department (Middle Schooling) back when middle schooling was hip and rad. This has glacially morphed into my current role, Head of Department (Teaching and Learning), at a P-12 state college on the Sunshine Coast. My job involves supporting teachers to provide a good education to our students, mostly through professional development. In the next few years, this will include building a culture of coaching across the college, and that’s my main preoccupation at the moment. I also run our college’s Makerspace, which is amazing good fun.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

I’m inspired by my favourite teachers from childhood, Mrs Chaseling and Miss Turner, and their unconditional positive regard for students. I’m inspired by my five splendid nieces, and by a drive to make schools and classrooms that are worthy of their amazingness. I’m inspired by my own students (which is true, even though I have to say it) who have that perfect mix of earnest intensity and unfettered joy. (All of my joy is fettered, these days.) I’m motivated by teaching as an opportunity to build relationships that last and matter. And I’m motivated by change and variety, which keep me from getting bored.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The rewards are entirely personal, the acknowledgement that we do work that adds meaning to people’s lives and purpose to our own. The challenges are legion, but I think the biggest is the modern tendency to de-personalise the work of educators: We work with (and are) complex humans in complex educational contexts, yet we contribute daily to the mass delusion that every impact can be measured, every risk can be minimised, all parts are interchangeable, and fixing stuff is as easy as a recipe card.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I become warm with fury when I read about private-school orchestra pits built with public money. I would ensure that a free, comprehensive education to be provided equally to all, and that all schools have enough resources to be cathedrals of learning and the heart of their communities. Also, I would cut back on paperwork. Hate the stuff!

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

EduTweetOz was one of the first accounts I followed when I joined Twitter, and I love the shared experience. Twitter debates can be vicious and polarising (I’m looking at you, Angry British EduTwitter), so it’s nice that Australian educators have this shared account that values collegiality, community and connection. (I mean, EduTweetUK would last about a minute!)

I recently said that EduTweetOz is a great way to taste someone’s brain and decide if you want a second helping. My hope for this week is that I get to taste some new brains, and that I avoid bringing shame on my family. Given how much I’ve veered between goofy and pontifical in these answers, I’m not confident that I can avoid the shame.

Take a look at Scott’s Blog

 

Managing a rotation curation Twitter account: My week hosting @EduTweetOz

It’s always a bonus for us to have our hosts explore what it meant to them to run the account for a week……

the édu flâneuse

source: gettyimages source: gettyimages This week I’m experiencing my first time in the host chair of a rotation curation, or #RoCur, account.

I have followed @EduTweetOz for some time and noticed how different educators seem to breeze through the host chair. I’d never considered the thought they may have had to put into hosting. But once I was invited and then appointed for a week, I felt a greater responsibility than just doing what I do with my personal account,@debsnet. Was what I did and said in my personal account appropriate in a shared account? Surely I couldn’t just dip in and out as I saw fit, jumping down rabbit holes and leaping off on tangents, as whims arose? I felt I needed to have some clarity for myself in terms of how I would approach an account that is not my own; I’m just slipping on the robes for…

View original post 978 more words

Please welcome this week’s host Deborah Netolicky @debsnet

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Dr Deborah Netolicky

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’ve been in education since I began teaching almost 17 years ago. An English and Literature teacher by trade, I also have a background in Fine Art. I have taught in Perth, Melbourne and London and have led English faculties in three Australian schools. More recently, I have managed school-based strategic projects in the arenas of professional learning, coaching, capacity development and continuous improvement. Over the last few years I have been leading a whole-school coaching and professional learning intervention at an independent school in Perth.

This year—after three and a half years of juggling full-time doctoral study, a 0.8 FTE school role and parenting two young boys—I completed my PhD with Murdoch University. My doctoral thesis used a slightly off-the-wall approach to narrative research to explore what experiences transform educators’ identities, beliefs and practices.

I enjoy sharing my work, research and personal journey through various platforms including Twitter, my blog www.theeduflaneuse.com, at national and international conferences, through my PhD thesis, and in peer-reviewed academic journals. I have also contributed pieces to other digital sites such news and views site The Conversation, and international blogs such as Times Higher EducationPhdTalk and Heutagogy CoP. Some of my own best learning happens as a result of connections and conversations that arise from connecting with educators from around the world.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work? 

Ultimately, education is about the student. I’m motivated by each child I influence, whether through teaching in the classroom, working in leadership in schools, or contributing to online and academic narratives about education and where it’s headed.

I am also deeply invested in the learning, growth and wellbeing of teachers and school leaders. They are the people in our schools charged with leading the learning, thinking, doing and being of students.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

After the US election result this week, I’m reminded more than ever of the responsibility educators have to help young people become good humans. Our most gratifying rewards and toughest challenges lie in helping to develop knowledgeable, skeptical, skilled, kind, compassionate, generous individuals who advocate for and serve others, question inequities and are empowered to use their own gifts for a greater good.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

The Coalition government’s dismissal of Gonski, and its attempts to discredit, undermine and slash funding from it, are harmful for Australian education. We need government to take seriously the need for fair, equitable, generous funding for schools. We also need our government to value higher education, including science, research and post-graduate study.

I also feel strongly that education policies and practices need to trust, support and grow teachers, rather than measure, reward and punish them against unreliable or limited benchmarks.

One thing I love about Twitter is that it moves us away from a silo mentality to one of collaboration across schools and systems. Sharing and giving back, especially by those schools that are the most privileged or well-funded, positively impacts education in Australia.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I find EduTweetOz a wonderful opportunity to get to know a range of Australian educators by experiencing their ways of hosting the account and engaging with their diverse interests and approaches.

As host this week I’m looking forward to connecting with people who might not yet be in my network and to sharing with the EduTwetOz community some of the voices in my PLN from whom I gain the most.

While I think the power of EduTweetOz is in the community, not the host, I will no doubt explore my own passions of coaching, professional learning, research and literature. As part of the ‘Flip the System’ movement that advocates for bottom-up and middle-out change, I’ll probably continue to advocate for change driven by those with tangible and tacit knowledge of our schools. I’ll also perhaps reveal my fondness using research literature and methodologies to inform educators’ work and decision making. My inner English teacher and narrative researcher will be drawn to sharing some of my own stories this week. I’m looking forward to it!

This week’s host is Jim Lloyd @jimlloyd82

img_1015Please 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?

Both my parents were art teachers  (one is now a professor), so that was an influence. At school I considered pursuing careers in acting and law, and even biology at one point. In the end, I felt I needed a career that allowed me to keep learning and developing in many different areas and benefited society, rather than lining the pockets of a CEO.
I started off as a generalist primary teacher, and gradually became a high school teacher (via middle school!). I have taught in Special Education contexts, a brief stint as a PE teacher, Year 7 Core (Maths/Science) but mostly 7-12 IT and middle years maths. I completed my Master of Education early in my career, via research pathway. I have also done sessional tutoring and casual marking for QUT and USQ within the education faculties. I am starting my Master of Information Technology degree next week.
I am currently employed as a secondary teacher of Information Technology and Mathematics at an independent girls’ school in Brisbane. I have been there for 5 years. I hope to move into a PAR role soon in my career.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I am very fortunate to have a dedicated and supportive HoD, as well as highly-skilled colleagues. Nothing quite inspires me as much as my students though – I need to be the best I can for them. My family is always very supportive of my doing online PD courses or going to conferences, so I’d better mention them too.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The reward is that look on the kid’s face when they spell the word/solve the equation/get the robot to move/find the bug in the code/apply the last dash of acrylic to the canvas etc. That’s why we keep turning up each day. What else is more important?
I can’t provide anything new in regards to ‘challenges’; my main bugbear is that educators will never cease getting it in the neck from those who wouldn’t know. I liken it to me walking onto a building site and telling the foreman how to best do their job.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

Remove high-stakes tests (from all areas). Give everyone a breather from NAPLAN. Tell people to stop taking PISA as gospel.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

The account is a great idea, and has had many great educators as host during my time on Twitter. It’s a good forum for hearing from a variety of different educators (something I value highly – vive la difference!). I hope I can make a few new connections and maybe get in a shameless plug for my book… 😉

Please welcome this week’s host Alice Leung @aliceleung

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?

Teaching was something I always wanted to do and I decided to become a teacher when I was in Year 11. A major influence for this decision was my own high school science teacher. I had her as my science teacher from Year 8-10 and then my Biology teacher in Year 11 and 12. She was so inspiring. She made science interesting, relevant and authentic. She made me see that teaching is a creative profession. She was also a caring person and showed me that a teacher can make a huge impact on a young person’s life. This teacher later became one of my mentors. She was my prac supervisor and later my head teacher when I first got my casual teaching block.

I’ve had many roles in education. I’ve been a science teacher, year advisor, Head Teacher Science and Head Teacher Welfare. I’ve worked at Rose Bay Secondary College, Auburn Girls High School and Merrylands High School, teaching a diverse range of students. I’m currently in a temporary non-school based position with the NSW Department of Education, supporting teachers and schools in STEM.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

My students and my colleagues keep me inspired and motivated. There’s nothing like seeing a young person’s mind spark because of the experiences you’ve created for them. I also have a very inspirational and supporting professional learning network, from my own school community at Merrylands High School, my current colleagues in the Secondary Education unit in NSW Department of Education and my online professional learning network.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

The biggest rewards are definitely the learning experiences you create and share with your students and colleagues. Sharing your passion for teaching and learning with the next generation is not only rewarding, but pivotal for our society. Some challenges for educators include wellbeing. Sometimes as educators, we are caught up in our work because we are so passionate and forget to look after ourselves. If we don’t look after our own wellbeing, we cannot teach our students effectively.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

To ensure ALL teachers and students to continuously improve themselves. To make sure all students, regardless of their circumstances to reach their full potential.

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 way for teachers to share their passion of teaching and learning with the wider Australian community and the wider global community. My hope for hosting EduTweetOz for the week will be to share my passion in science education, STEM education and innovation in teaching and learning.