Introducing this week’s EduTweetOz host, Shea Watt, @tlightly1

Shea WattPlease 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 only been teaching for the last five years. I have always thought about it but wanted to be a bit older and wiser before taking on what I consider a very important role in society. I think the main impetus for starting to teach was seeing the level of confusion in society around scientific issues from health to climate change, and wanting to raise the general level of national discourse and allow more people to be involved. My role has been as a Secondary Science Teacher for the last five years with Senior Biology subjects, but also as a trainer in the school developing and delivering a VET Certificate II in Horticulture. I feel I have the best of three worlds, helping Year 7-10 students feel enthusiasm about discovering the universe, helping Senior Biology students develop high level skills that will make University a breeze, and helping Horticulture students relish working in the outdoors to nurture plants.

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

Every year I feel I am doing better for my students, they inspire me when they confirm this.

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

The reward is knowing how much difference you can make to each and every student, and therefore society as a whole. I also hope I take some of the pressure off other teachers by letting happy students enter their classrooms. I feel the biggest opportunity is technology but it is still also our biggest challenge.

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

I believe we are on the right path with the National Curriculum, but I believe we are being let down quite a lot by information technology, so I would prioritise increased support for teachers and school-based system builders in utilising technology in the classroom.

I also believe that vocational training needs to be nationally standardised, de-commercialised, heavily regulated and built up with massive public investment.

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

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