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 been working with children in varying arrays of work for 23 years. Firstly as a gymnastics and acrobatics coach, then a youth worker and a outdoor education instructor. I then moved into education as a primary classroom teacher and ICT Learning Coach. I became a teacher as I had the opportunity to see the impact an individual could have to shape someone else’s life. In all of my roles I desired to see the next generation have it better than what I did and as a primary student I had learning difficulties so it goes without saying this desire also goes for education.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I am a big George Couros and Dave Burgess fan, I also like the academic work of Mark Weston. I am passionate about engaging all students and creating individually crafted programs to meet their needs. I am actively engaged with authentic learning and my class loves using games such as mystery locations to allow them real world application of their understanding.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest rewards are seeing the aha moments and knowing that a student has walked away with a “must have” understanding. The biggest challenge is that we are all time poor and there never seams as though our plate gets smaller.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Release the funds to ensure that every teacher has access to quality and engaging PD and collaborative planning multiple times a year. Innovative ideas generally come from bouncing hunches off others and then building on them. This is one of the only ways I know that we can create a truly innovative and creative curriculum that engages every learner.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I have seen twitter over the past five years become a way educators can create a culture of guerrilla professional development. EduTweetOz has been one of the longest standing institutions in the twitter sphere for education in Australia and I am proud to continue on its heritage. I hope others engage with the topics and ideas posed and keep an open mind on how they potentially could place into action the knowledge.