Steve Box is head of primary in a P-12 independent school. He’ll be bringing his insights to EduTweetOz this week and facilitating the conversation. Steve tweets from @wholeboxndice.
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 an educator. My mother was a teacher, a head of department and a deputy, so I saw first hand the ups and downs. Despite all of that, and encouraged by my love of coaching as a teenager (working with younger teams), I knew it was the right career. I wanted to build some life and professional skills to take into teaching with me, so I did a Public Relations and Media degree first and worked for 3 years in community sports and events. These skills have been invaluable both as a teacher and school leader.
Currently, I am Head of Primary (P-6), in a P-12 Independent School. I have the leadership and management of students, staff, and general administration of the Primary School in my job description, encapsulating oversight of pastoral care and curriculum.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I guess it is the little wins on a daily basis that help keep you working away at the big picture goals. I know that all it takes is a walk to visit our early years classrooms to remember why we do what we do.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
We have a direct chance to influence the outcomes of young people. It is quite a responsibility, but seeing the ‘light bulb’ moments, seeing personal growth and development of the students is very rewarding. The profession is full of challenges, in terms of the economic/political sphere’s influence on education, the somewhat low value placed on the profession and the expectation for teacher to be the solution for all of the world’s issues.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would do anything possible to depoliticise education. Put educational experts in the decision-making roles. I would look to shift emphasis away from the standardised testing regimes. I would look to re-brand the profession and ensure that teachers and educators were given the respect they deserve in the community as a whole.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz allows a voice for a united Australian education. Regardless of sector, primary or high school, gender or cultural background, it helps to reflect that we are all in it for the positive outcomes of our students. I hope to stimulate conversation, prompt reflection and share some perspectives.