Please be upstanding for @brookssensei

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.

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Welcome @laraheppner to EduTweetOz!

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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?

Some people hold out for their dream job. I’m lucky that I fell in love with the job that I defaulted to! I studied science at University, but was talked out of entering research by my Uncle who was a research scientist. I entered teaching, and over the years is has definitely grown on me to become a passion. I’ve taught Science and Chemistry for 12 years now and I’m currently Science Coordinator at a Catholic co-ed high school in Adelaide. I have also been Head of Science at an International School in Japan, and am heading off on a different adventure next year as a STEM innovator at a large public super-school in Adelaide.

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

I’m kept motivated by my students – wanting to do the best job I can for them, which is especially felt for Year 12 classes where there is so much pressure to prepare them well and help them get the highest grade they can achieve. I also am motivated by the “a-ha” moments when you find ways to turn around troubled/disengaged/uninterested students. Sometimes it’s the smallest things – like trying to explain desiccants to students with the example of the little sachets in tortilla wrap bags…except they don’t eat Mexican…until weeks later they come in and say they had wraps and now they know what a desiccant is! It inspires me to hear of students I have taught who have enjoyed my subject enough that they decide to continue studying it at a tertiary level, or that their values have been impacted as an adult by their high school education.

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

One of the biggest challenges, I think, is the perception of teachers – all those holidays and early minutes and glorified babysitting! This perception of teaching as an easy profession, a back-up job or a low-skilled job diminishes the complexities that exist in reality. Work-load is a big issue, making full time teaching unmanageable for many new graduate teachers. The classroom is more complex – there are so many competing demands, learning needs, new technologies, administrative duties- which makes teaching a really difficult job. But the rewards of impacting the next generation remain, and I think that is what draws many teachers to education and keeps them there.

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

I don’t know how any 18 year old can know what they want to do at that age. I’d like to see greater breadth of high school study (not just 4 subjects at Year 12 level), and less of an emphasis on the ATAR. I’d like to see more focus on inspiring students to live as lifelong and curious learners, with less focus on standardised testing. I’d like more time for teachers to collaborate, and a structure for equitable access to professional development across all sectors and experience levels of teachers.  

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

Teachers are only as good as the team they are supported by. A high performing professional network can only improve the quality of teaching in Australia, and support teachers to serve our students better. Teaching shouldn’t be seen as competitive, but as collaborative – sharing makes us all better so there’s no reason to hoard your worksheets! I hope to start some discussions around sustainable schools, professional development and science teaching.

Hosting EduTweetOz this week is @smitheesusan

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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?

Initially when I left high school I was a Youth Worker. There were a lot of  street kids who couldn’t read, write or do numeracy so I started teaching and assisting them in areas where I could. This led to getting a Bachelor of Primary Education and the rest is history. I have been teaching for 17 years now in support roles, as a classroom teacher and as Assistant Principal in which I led a number of successful whole school initiatives. I have worked in a range of schools but mainly high NESB. Currently I am an Assistant Principal Coach Mentor in Positive Behaviour for Learning Ultimo Directorate. In this role I get to work with an amazing team. We provide training for school teams in Positive Behaviour for Learning as well as coach and mentor  PBL school teams to assist with the implementation and sustainability after training. 
 

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

I am particularly passionate about student and teacher wellbeing. So being part of the  PBL team is wonderful.  When staff at a school , with big smiles on their faces, say how much behaviour has improved and teacher practise has changed for the better because of PBL, that is motivating and inspiring.
I’m also inspired by leaders who have turned students and teachers lives around with an importance on wellbeing  so learning can happen. Or when my students are so happy to be at school, want to learn and run up to me to say hi or how much they miss me, are excited by what you helped them achieve or that you care.
It is a great profession.

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

One of the biggest challenges I see for people working in  education today is the workload. So many people working very hard with very little rest.

The rewards for people in education is when you get to collaborate with an amazing team, when your student’s enthusiasm for  learning is ignited and they are so happy because they feel successful, when you know you have made a difference.
 

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

I would slow the changes down and give more financial support for schools so they could have time to innovate and collaborate to plan. Give teachers adequate planning time to be able to implement things properly.
 

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

I see EduTweetOZ as a wonderful way for educators to learn from each other and have informative discussions. I see it as a digital teachmeet that showcases what our wonderful educators are doing.
This week I will be looking at teacher and student wellbeing.

Kira Bryant, come on down! @tirisays

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 interest in education really stems from a love of learning that was nurtured throughout primary and secondary school. I had many wonderful teachers and applied, at 17 years of age, for a DoE Preservice Scholarship for English Teaching. I ticked the ‘anywhere in the state’ option on the scholarship form and at the conclusion of my studies was placed at Seven Hills High School. It was a big move from home (North Haven on the Mid North Coast) and where I had been studying, at the University of New England in Armidale, but the community I found at SHHS really supported my professional growth and once I was there I never looked back. I worked for several years at SHHS before moving to Glenmore Park High School where I worked as a classroom teacher before gaining a promotion to Head Teacher English. After three years in the role I took some long service leave to partake in a week-long internship at Nancie Atwell’s school – the Center for Teaching and Learning which reinforced everything I believe in about teaching – the power of student choice, the impact of the explicit teaching of reading and writing skills, how opportunities to engage with quality literature can enrich lives, and the importance of celebrating student success. During my leave, I applied for a role in the corporate sector of the Department of Education and was appointed as Teacher Quality Advisor in Term 2. This role is about supporting teachers with their accreditation and providing quality, research-based professional learning.

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

I have always found something new and inspiring to focus on – early on in my career I focused on designing effective lessons and developing my judgement as to what I needed to provide in order for my students to improve. I was then offered a Year Adviser role which provided great insight into the ways student achievement is impacted by their social milieu and family events. At Glenmore Park High School, I continued the Year Adviser role and was also fortunate enough to be involved in a Middle Schools Program as well as literacy and writing initiatives – all which gave me an opportunity to learn about what makes schools effective and hone my skills to support positive change in the process.

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

I think one of the biggest rewards is the positive impact an educator can have on a students’ life. Some students are ready for success at school but many don’t know any and it is this opportunity to share knowledge and provide support with skill development that really does have an impact on lives. Technology has definitely changed the landscape of education so one of the challenges is ensuring our students can be active and engaged citizens who have the skills and confidence to chase their dreams whilst also maintaining their digital footprint in a responsible manner. I think maintaining a focus on educational success, positive connections between students and their school, as well as considering what is happening in the world can make an educator’s job a bit of a balancing act at times.

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

If I could change anything it would be to give teachers more time to focus on preparing engaging lessons, to team teach, to collaborate with colleagues. Teachers, somehow, find the time to do all of these things already but I can only see positives when I consider how much stronger professional relationships would be with more time to invest in them. From all the research I have read and from my experience of working in and with schools, it seems that finding enough time to focus on the aspects you’re passionate about as well as the accountability measures required can be tricky.

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

In the words of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s character Anne Shirley – ‘It’s not what the world holds for you. It’s what you bring to it,’ contributing to a sense of community, via social media or face to face, is more important than ever. As the education professional grows, as the world continues to change, it is only through collaboration and common goals that we can hope to continue pushing forward with the work that we do. I am excited to host the EduTweedOz account and hope to discuss aspects of Teacher Accreditation, considerations of what preservice and beginning teachers need, and some readings I am working through on writing and literacy instruction.

Step right up, Ian Van Biezen (@Ianvbz)!

I have always wanted to be a teacher, and a major influence was my year 9 math teacher a story which I have shared on my Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXm9I2EbdT4&t=16s I haven’t posted on this channel for awhile, though I am going to be revamping the channel tomorrow. My background in education is an adult based. Before I decided to undertake my University degree in Primary Education in 2016, I was involved in the Education of Adults during my employment with Job Services Australia, the employment based agencies that help those on Centrelink find alternative work or training. My role was an employment consultant, I would conduct training on application writing, interview skills, and presentation. I spent over 5 years in that industry. 

I am currently an undergrad in my 2nd year of my primary education degree, My most recent education experience was a 6 month leadership role, working with Indigenous students at a local Indigenous School, running a program called Numeracy buddies where myself and my team would go in once a week and help tutor these students in their math skills, they were year 7 to 9 students learning 3 – 5 years behind where they should be, this was a voluntary role, currently I am volunteering once a week I the school I completed my practicum at in June teaching mainly math and science to a year 6 class. 

The motivation for keeping me focused on my Undergrad degree is motivation for learning! I think education is so important and that all students need good quality education and access to teacher’s who are passionate. I go to the school where I volunteer and I can’t wait. I enjoy seeing that lightbulb moment when I have taught something! I also love getting to know the students, their backgrounds and the feedback they give to me each week helps me grow and develop as a pre service teacher. 

One of the major challenges I see today from my experience in the Classroom is a lack of Government funding, particularly for those students with learning difficulties who need the extra assistance in the classroom, the funding seems to be in short supply in providing funding for Education Assistant’s and other useful equipment to assist these students to grow and learn. I also think the lack of technology in classrooms, particularly in the public education sector, is below expectations, I would think with the push for students to be more ITC aware, there needs to be a push to provide every child access to a computer or tablet within the classroom, particularly in the remote and LSE schools. 

I would like to see more project based learning across all Schools from K – 12 and move away from the traditional worksheets. 

EduTweetoz, I have only been apart of the chat and discussion for about a year, and I can see the influence the discussion is having on teachers and many are taking ideas they are learning and discussing back to their classrooms to implement or try! I believe EduTweetoz, will continue to grow and play part in the professional development and growth of teachers in Australia. 

As a pre service teacher, I am learning a great deal from just participating in Twitter and EduTweetoz chats, it is certainly helping my growth and development and this will only benefit my future students and myself as an educator. I hope that EduTweetoz, continues to share ideas, discuss education in Australia and if it is not already doing so, shape education policy, after all the teachers are at ground zero. As a pre-service teacher, I hope I can lead a successful chat as a facilitator, I believe it will help me grow and also continue my learning journey and hopefully attract other pre-service teachers as well. 

On my Twitter feed you can see my links to my blog post and Youtube channel. 

Meet Michaela Epstein (mic_epstein) and behold her tweets!

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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?

Despite my obsession with maths education, this wasn’t what launched my interests and career in education.

For my under-grad degree, I studied politics, psychology and maths, and it was through politics that my interest in education developed. I learned a lot about liberal theory, multiculturalism and human rights and, from these areas, I started to understand how impactful education is as a lever for social change. When there are inequities that exist in a society, education is a powerful way of rising above them and breaking down barriers. So I thought this was incredible! Since then my work has been in a number of different areas, but always dedicated to education.

Previously, I have helped in establishing an academic enrichment program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students, with The Aurora Project. As a teacher, I taught humanities and maths, and also had the privilege of working closely with teachers in a coaching capacity. The schools I have taught at are in rural Victoria and in Melbourne – a big change from my home town of Sydney – and an eye opener in terms of seeing how much harder some opportunities are to come by when you are not in a major city.

Right now, I have two professional roles that I am deeply passionate abut. At Maths Pathway (@MathsPathway), an Australian-founded social enterprise, I am the Head of Learning. Outside of this work, I am currently President of the Mathematical Association of Victoria (@mav_info).

Both roles keep me on my toes in staying up-to-date with latest research, and thinking about how to best support and connect teachers. I have become more focused on maths education in recent years, because it is such an important area for young people – and unfortunately it is so often feared. So as someone who’s not based in the classroom, I believe that one of the most valuable contributions I can make is in bringing teachers and others in the education space together, to talk to and learn from one another.

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

Australia has an outstanding education system. Every day there are such brilliant things happening in schools around the country that are enabled by the dedication of teachers, school leaders and support staff. I am driven in my work to contribute to this community.

Throughout my career, I have also been deeply motivated by the people around me – my colleagues and friends, who are each completely impressive in their own ways. I am grateful to these people for providing supportive environments where I can be challenged in my ideas and challenge them in return, where I can be proud of my successes but also be honest and open about failure. Education is a wonderful field, where just when you think you’ve figured something out, a new idea butts in and can completely shake your thinking. Despite having frequent feelings of disorientation, I love this challenge.

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

I strongly believe in the connectedness of education, so the reward and challenge that I’ll touch on relate to that.

An undeniable reward of working in education comes from the real, tangible impact that you have on people’s lives. Teachers and others in education are not just cogs in a wheel, but important and influential in students’ lives.

One of the great difficulties in education is that of empathy. There are so many voices in education, and it is so easy to make assumptions about what people need or want. We are often impacted – in the processes and structures that shape our work and often in the outcomes we can attain – by people we don’t know. There is a challenge that comes with this in reaching across to different perspectives (e.g. from schools, communities, academia, enterprise or elsewhere) and talking and really listening to one another.

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

I believe that every student should be in a position where they leave school, aware of their own strengths, confident in themselves and understand some of the options ahead of them. Too often though, where a student lives in Australia and their socio-economic circumstances affects whether they leave the education system with these things. So what would I do? Help to initiate or strengthen actions that overcome systemic barriers for students. I’d love to hear people’s ideas and what they’re doing on this front!

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

By nature of its geography, Australia is very fragmented. I experienced this firsthand, when working in rural Victoria. EduTweetOz is a fantastic initiative for bringing people together to collaborate, celebrate success and provide guidance. It’s an honour to be part of the community.

This week I’d love to tap into the thoughts and perspectives of the collective on some of my education interests, hopefully having some knotty discussions along the way. In particular, I’m keen to hear people’s ideas about how people #talkmathsup. Maths is a hugely important part of education (yes, I’m biased!), but it’s often feared, badly stereotyped or hated on. The question I often ask people is: Whether or not you teach maths, what do you do to give it a better deal?

Rachel Buchanan @rayedish is our host this week

 

Nc8vkF9H_400x400Please tell us a little about your background in education.

When I started university twenty years ago I thought that I would like to be a psychologist, maybe a school counsellor. My understanding that was that you needed both a psych degree and a teaching degree to be a school counsellor. I got into pyschology and studied that for three years before switching to study education, as I no longer wanted a psychologist. My husband (@mrstevennewman) is a teacher and our three kids are all at different points in the education system – we’ve got one in early childhood care, one in primary school and one in high school – so education is a big focus within our household.

Why did you decide to become involved in education?

I ended up in education serendipitously. During my third of university I was getting disillusioned with psychology and enrolled in an educational philosophy subject which I thought would be more fun than the other statistics subjects I was taking. I did well in the course and was invited to do Honours by the course coordinator. I wasn’t enjoying psych anymore so it seemed like a good idea. I followed Honours with a phd. The phd took a while as I did it part time while having kids.

What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I’ve always been an educator of adults. I started out tutoring at university while I was an Honours student teaching educational philosophy. Then towards the end of my phd I was tutoring educational sociology. I submitted my thesis and started as a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle on the same day. I teach in educational foundations – which covers a lot of territory. I’ve taught professional ethics, first year foundation courses and educational sociology to preservice teachers (early childhood, primary and secondary) and teachers in our Masters of Educational Leadership program. I teach online courses on politics and policy, and change management. While I love face-to-face teaching, I enjoy teaching on the online Masters courses as I get to hear about what teachers are doing across the country and around the world.

My current role is course coordinating our educational sociology course – which is a big compulsory course for all our preservice teachers. This semester we have about 700 students enrolled. In my role I manage the curriculum and assessment in the course, as well as manage and mentor the 13 other tutors on the course (a mixture of full-time academics like myself and casual tutors). I’m also running an online masters subject which is very small by comparison – it’s just me teaching the cohort.

In addition to my teaching responsibilities I’m also a researcher. My interests are in educational technology, policy and equity and I’m currently working a project with some local school that looks at the use of immersive VR in classrooms.

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

In terms of teaching, it is seeing students find their passion. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Regarding my research I love learning new things – so whether I learn things from the readings I’m engaged in, or find new out in the course of our projects it’s always exciting to make new discoveries.

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

From knowing and talking to teachers the challenges come in the disconnect between the policy environment and the lived context in which they work. In it’s current form, the education system is emphasising standardisation. However, many teachers want to meet the varied ends of the students of they have. A system that focuses on basic skills, a narrow prescriptive curriculum with high levels of accountability makes this difficult. In my context within higher education we feel the difficulties of the policies imposed by the NSW government (Good Teaching, Inspired Learning) the Federal government (The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education) and the accreditation requirements of TESQA and NESA. These multiple policy frameworks make it difficult to design a cohesive degree that makes the needs of multiple education systems and preservice teachers.

The rewards comes when you know you have done a good job. When you know you have helped a student, or improved a course.

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

I’d changes the policies that are feeding the residualisation of disadvantage in Australia. This might involve disconnecting the publication of NAPLAN and the MySchool website – so NAPLAN becomes lower stakes and diagnostic (as intended). I like to see the vocational educational options improved so that these can better articulate to real pathways into the workforce. I think that the curriculum should be less prescriptive so that teachers have more flexibility to meet the needs of their students and funding sorted so it’s less politicised and we can target resources at the schools that need it most.

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

I see EduTweetOz as a great resource for connecting people in different educational sectors – to see the system as a whole and get a sense of the different people undertaking different roles within the system. It can allow others an opportunity to hear the voices of fellow educators and to consider alternate perspectives. As for me, I hope to learn from those that I interact with this week. I hope to enjoy myself and meet other educators also the country.

EduTweetOz Blog Elke Schneider

elke

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 work at Somerset College (private school) in the Gold Coast. I mainly teach Years 8 to 12 in Digital Technologies and senior IT subjects. Since starting at Somerset in 2016, I have worked hard to develop an exciting mix of topics and activities for the Year 9 and Year 10 elective ICT subjects. I enjoy developing full units of work and I have included topics such as robotics, game development, geospatial data and web/app solutions in the Year 9/10 ICT subjects. I also have a strong interest in increasing female participation in ICT and I am continually focused on improving my teaching strategies to ensure that I meet the needs of individual students. In the past year I have had success in increasing female participation in ICT and I presented on this at the recent ACER Excellence in Professional Practice Conference.

https://elketeaches.wordpress.com/presentations/eppc/

I am the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) Treasurer. If you’re a Queensland educator and not yet involved in QSITE, please join today!

I started work in the IT industry as an IT Analyst for EDS, Canada in the late 90s; I still remember Y2K and the Dot Com bubble! I also taught at the tertiary-level at Durham College (Ontario, Canada) for a number of years. At Durham College I taught IT and Business subjects such as, Java Programming, Oracle Database development, eCommerce, Systems Analysis & Design, Economics and Management Information Systems.

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

My two kids (9 & 14 years) are my inspiration to become a Secondary teacher. My kids and all my wonderful students are what motivate me to teach. Teenagers are awesome; take the time to listen to them, show them you really care and then they will help make teaching fun!

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

Forming good relationships with teenage students is rewarding because it is clear that they trust you and they tend to surprise you with their willingness to learn more. I feel rewarded when students yell out my name across the school grounds because they simply want to say ‘Hi’. It’s awesome when students want to share their successes with you and occasionally there are students that do amazing innovative work that goes far-beyond assessment requirements.

The biggest challenge in working in education today is the seemingly continuous additions of extra tasks that don’t always have a clear link to classroom practice. Teachers are time poor and the hours that I spend at home marking and developing new resources/activities all impact negatively on my family life.

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

Ensure ALL schools have adequate WiFi and digital equipment for ALL students. Include a MakerSpace in every school library. Unblock Internet access and make Digital Citizenship teaching & learning mandatory, while also encouraging the use of effective and authentic social media use in learning.

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

My host post from last year says it best: “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.”

This week I hope to focus discussion around the Digital Technologies curriculum and current trends and issues in education.

Elke Schneider

Digital Technologies Teacher

QSITE Treasurer

Host of @qsite

@elketeaches

https://elketeaches.wordpress.com/

Please welcome Matthew Beggs to EdutweetOZ

blfbRzAa_400x400Please 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 actually realised this year that I’ve been teaching for ten years and I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. I entered education and teaching after completing a degree in media studies and attempting to make it as a writer for a period of time. Teaching was always something in my mind as a potential career and it was something recommended to me by others. I have been teaching at the current school where I work in the western suburbs of Melbourne for the past five years and am currently the Grade 5/6 team leader. The previous two years to this I was teaching 3/4 and then previous to that 1/2. This year is my first year as a team leader and it has definitely creates some challenges. At the same time it has created some wonderful opportunities to extend myself as a teacher that I do not think that I could have been able to do in previous years.

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

I think every day I turn up to work there is always something exciting and inspiring. Whether it be the student who has the “a-ha moment” or the opportunity to undertake new and exciting experiences, there is always something to motivate and challenge me. I think the fact that this year I have moved to a year level that I have never taught before is something that has motivated me to take greater risks as a teacher, which ultimately has led to me being more motivated to deliver the best possible educational experience that I can for the students that I work with.

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

I think one of the greatest rewards in education is still that moment where you can see the lightbulb goes off. The moment that a student you are working with achieves something that you might of initially felt was impossible is always such a rewarding thing. The small moments can sometimes lead to moments that are much larger and I think these small moments can sometimes be forgotten with the amount of noise that we are exposed to. A challenge that I feel in education today is the fact there is so much noise for everyone to navigate. It is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish which voices should be listened to and which voices should be ignored and ultimately this has an impact on both teachers and students.

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

I think there needs to be greater interaction between those who are training teachers and schools working at the coalface. I feel that there needs to more done from all parties involved to help prepare teachers for the realities for the workforce. If more is not done to help bridge the gap that exist between teaching rounds and the reality of the workforce, teachers will continue to burn out as the pressures on them continue to increase.

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

One of the things that EduTweetOz does so well is it allows for different voices to be heard in a constructive manner. I think it helps to keep myself grounded as a teacher as I am able to see an amazing array of different examples of phenomenal teaching. By allowing for more voices to be heard, we are ultimately helping to promote the collegiate nature that we all seem to strive for.

I think for myself this week it is another chance to connect with those within the educational community and find what ends up making us tick as teachers. I think we seem to talk a lot about what drives us within the classroom it is always nice to reflect on what drives us outside the classroom (also what helps keep us sane outside the classroom). I think by trying to help myself and others identify our passions and to connect with others who might inspire us to be better as teachers and aren’t we always learning anyway? This account is a wonderful reflection of the Australian educational community and I hope that I can be a small part of this.

RoCur – Rotation Curation

An interesting but brief analysis of our RoCur account. Do you have any answers to the questions posed?

Marginal Notes

I’m in the midst of ‘data walking’ and rereading the interviews, blog posts, tweets and observations I’ve made over the past year or so. One episode opened up when I was copied in on a tweet by Aaron:

The post referred to in the tweet was one in which Aaron was reflecting back after concluding a week occupying the ‘chair’ of a RoCur account, @EduTweetOz. RoCur is Rotation Curation and is where a different person each week takes the helm of social media account, usually Twitter. For @EduTweetOz:

“Each week a different educator will take responsibility for tweeting. We hope that people will use the space to share their experiences, pose questions, engage in dialogue about current educational issues and help each other out.
Guest tweeters and other educators will be showcased on this blog to share their passion for education with the wider community.”

This was a…

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