Please tell us a little about your background in education.
I completed a degree in Education and History in the UK before coming back to Australia and accepted a year’s contract position teaching Year 7 on the Eyre Peninsula. I then returned to Adelaide and won my current position at Hackham East Primary School where I have taught from Reception to Year 5.
Why did you decide to become involved in education?
I have always wanted to be a teacher (does that sound too cliché?) and began at 5 years old by lining up my teddy bears and younger twin brothers and demanding they learn the alphabet! After travelling abroad and gaining some valuable life experience I felt I had the skills and passion to help, even if only in a small way, to nurture and support young people in their social, emotional and academic development.
What are some of the roles you’ve had and what is your current role?
I have always been a classroom teacher first and foremost. Additional side roles I currently have include the team leader of our year 3/4/5 Professional Planning team, Grievance Officer and a member of the PAC committee. I currently teach a year 4/5 class.
Who or what keeps you motivated in your work?
The thought that I might help make a difference in a young person’s life. I still remember several great teachers I had and the impact they have had on me. I try to have the same impact on my students. I work in a low socio-economic community so providing a safe and positive environment for some of my students also keeps me motivated every day.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
I think the rewards are plain to see when you have happy, motivated and challenged students in your class. The challenges are getting through never ending policy and demands on our time in order to do this successfully. Also dealing with some of the home situations and influences on our students can be emotionally exhausting.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would give more power to schools and Principals. Particularly here in South Australia many of the decisions come from a departmental level and it limits successful staffing and running of schools. I would also stop politicians that have no experience in the classroom making decisions on our behalf.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I think that sites, pages, groups and accounts like EdutweetOz on social media has allowed many educators to come together and form PLN’s much larger than would otherwise be available. I hope this week to get people thinking, give them a laugh and gain some insight and new understandings in educational issues as well as connect with more educators.