Welcome this Week’s @EduTweetOz Host, Melissa Andrews.

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 is your current role?
Some of the most influential people in my life were a few of my high school teachers. They provided me with guidance and support with both my academic and personal development and they encouraged me to believe in myself. I became involved in education as I wanted to be able to give back and provide this same support for the next generation.
Since graduating in 2012, I have worked in both government and independent schools in Primary and Early Childhood settings. I am currently in my second year as a Year 6/7 teacher and I’m loving it!

Who or what keeps you motivated in your work?
Cliché, but my students keep me motivated. I want to be able to continue to provide them with opportunities that challenge them and get them excited about learning.

Twitter and Teach Meets also keep me motivated. Seeing educators who are passionate about what they do is inspiring and make me want to continue to grow as an educator.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
Seeing students have those ‘aha’ moments is the biggest reward. The highlights of my days are watching students teach one another how to do something new, listening to them solve problems together and seeing them become more and more curious about global issues.

For me, improving students’ literacy outcomes is one of the biggest challenges. It is heartbreaking to see Year 6/7 students who have significant difficulties in reading and writing. This causes low self-esteem and disengagement from learning, which in turn, makes them less likely to accept additional support. We need to find a way of ensuring that no one slips through the cracks.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would remove politicians’ roles in making decisions about educational policy. Too often, education is a political football and changes are made based on parties’ ideological views rather than what is in the best interests of children. At the very least, there would be more consultation with in-service educators.

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 way to connect and share ideas with educators anywhere and anytime. This week, I’m looking forward to making new connections and gaining insights into how others are implementing change.

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