This week’s host is Joel Speranza (@JoelBSperanza).
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?
For as long as I remember I’ve always loved helping others to learn. I distinctly remember being happiest in high school when I was helping another student work on something they were finding difficult.
I’ve been teaching for 6 years and in that short time I’ve gained experience teaching Science, Mathematics, Accounting and Digital Technology. I’ve enjoyed teaching them all and find that teaching across a breadth of subjects exposes me to new teaching ideas that i may have missed otherwise.
Over the past three years, I have become a passionate advocate for the use of flipped learning. I believe this small change in pedagogy has wide-ranging benefits to both students and teachers and I’m excited to spread the word whenever I can.
Alongside my teaching, I have very recently been given the role of Technology Coach at my school. This was a natural progression as I am passionate about using technology to improve our teaching profession and I’m most excited when discussing this and sharing ideas with my peers.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
- Students taking charge of their own learning.
- Students “getting it”.
- Teachers sharing their practice.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
A challenge for education, and the world at large, is the sheer pace of change. Change has always been a challenge but it is happening now faster than ever.
As educators, this means that when it comes to lifelong learning we need to be leading by example. Constantly working to improve our pedagogy and trying new styles of teaching.
In the past, teachers have been able to teach in ways very similar to that of their own teachers. But the world of today is very different to the world most of us went to school in and so to should our classrooms be.
The recent rise of laptops in school is an opportunity and challenge to educators everywhere. Most of us have never experienced learning in a classroom with such pervasive access to technology and so we are the pioneers of this new pedagogy. In order for us to take on this challenge, a de-privatisation of our profession is something that I feel is a huge priority.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Rather than wishing for changes in our education system, I believe it’s more productive to ask about what changes I can make in my own classroom.
Teachers are given a lot of autonomy in their profession and I believe that while our education system could always use improvement, it is not so prescriptive that we can’t make a difference to our students lives by improving our own practice.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I’m relatively new to twitter but I have loved following EduTweetOz from the moment I joined. Each new curator has offered a unique perspective and each has shared their passions and broadened my views as a result.
This week I’d like to share my own passions. I’ll certainly be talking about flipped and blended learning, education technology and digital pedagogy, de-privatising our classrooms, coding across the curriculum and a bunch more things besides.
I also hope to meet some new educators and have some meaningful conversations about education throughout the week. Please invite me to your favourite twitter chat!