Welcome to a new year with EduTweetOz. The EduTweetOz team are very excited to have primary school principal, Jason Borton as our first guest tweeter for 2014.
I asked him to tell us about what drives him as an educator.
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 grew up in Sydney and did my Bachelor of Education at UTS-Kuringai. I was unable to secure a permanent teaching position in Sydney so I did some relief teaching and was offered a job with ACT Education in 1996. I packed up my car and left for Canberra.
I wasn’t always thinking my career would be in education as I originally wanted to be an economist or a physiotherapist. My HSC makes were marginally below entry scores for those degrees so as fate would have it, I became a primary school teacher and have never looked back since.
I taught as a classroom teacher for 9 years in 3 different schools. I did a short stint in the head office as the primary staffing officer before gaining a promotion as an executive teacher at Ainslie School in 2004. I then moved to Bonython Primary School in 2008 before gaining a promotion to deputy principal at Charles Conder Primary School in 2010. I was appointed as the Principal of Richardson Primary School in 2012 and I’m still in that position. I love my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I am motivated by two main things:
1- student learning
2- developing teacher leaders
I am always inspired by the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students as well as developing the careers of my colleagues.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The rewards are constantly seeing students develop and grow into awesome young human beings. I also love seeing my colleagues succeed in their roles. It is a daily reward to make a difference for kids and to work with such dedicated and skilful colleagues.
Our challenges are often distractions from external factors such as politics and our ever-changing society. A challenge is really an opportunity to do it better.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would ensure that school funding was equitable and that resources were directed based on student need. This would afford every child an opportunity to succeed regardless of their socio-economic status. Other changes would be to get rid of A-E reporting, consult the profession on the big decisions, abandon standardised testing (NAPLAN) and uphold the integrity of our public education system as a right for every child. I would also consider replacing the HSC as it currently stands with a system of ongoing assessment.
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 this account as playing a valuable role in sparking discussion around relevant education issues. It is a forum for educators to engage with each other in a professional and productive way.
I hope to share some of my experience as well as learn from others.