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?
My background in education has spanned 27 years, 3 continents, subject areas from ESL to Music to Kindergarten, courses of study from Primary Ed, TESOL & Applied Linguistics to Music Pedagogy, Learner Engagement & Leadership, but mostly it has involved lots of amazing experiences, relationships, successes and frustrations.
I like to call ourselves ‘Designers of Learning’ rather than the term ‘Teachers’… I believe that as education has changed since the Industrial Age, so has our role in it.
At the moment I teach a kindergarten class and specialist music, and am a PL design consultant.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I have always been a passionate advocate for ‘learning’ and nurturing the whole child, rather than ticking boxes or trying the latest gadgets, gimmicks and gurus. I get frustrated by the tendency to look for the quick-fix solution, but understand that in our jam-packed workloads sometimes we need to give ourselves easier options.
I have been very inspired & energised by interacting with our global colleagues on Twitter.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would make it about ‘learning’! – you can tick all the boxes of a ‘good lesson’ in ‘teaching’ terms, but did every child learn what your lesson intended? Learning requires substantive engagement, not just compliance. I would get the education system focused on engagement before thinking about anything else.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I would love to engage with others involved in designing learning. Learning will always be the goal… so having fun, sharing, questioning, discussing & challenging will be key. I envisage that engagement will be a focus, but of course discussions will also be organic and responsive to where participants take them.