Please welcome Lauren Sayer to EduTweetOz.
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 am a teacher because I love learning and I believe that education is the one thing we can provide that improves the outcomes of everyone. I grew up from a single parent low socio economic family which usually puts people at educational disadvantage. My mother supported me to pursue both my under graduate and post graduate studies in education. The provision of health, shelter and care all can maintain outcomes but the gift of education is a clear pathway to accelerating social and economic standing.I believe that if we can make the education of young people everyone’s business, we can really begin to make a difference not just in supporting but improving the opportunities and outcomes of the next generation.
I started my teaching career working in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne it was there I saw first hand how having a mindset that kids can achieve anything with the right pedagogy and process can bring about amazing results. I then left education and went to work in the private sector for 4 years, this was an amazing experience and I encourage people to not be afraid to move in and out of education. From there I was given the privileged position to lead the teaching team The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute in Melbourne where children with chronic illnesses were given the educational support to continue their schooling. Most recently I have taken a totally new challenge onboard, I have moved to an Independent School where I am the Director of Learning technologies across a multi campus senior school. This is exciting because I am interested in seeing how the current experimentations and innovations in Junior and Middle Year settings translate to senior classes and curriculum. I currently have a strong focus on best practice instructional design and blended learning. I have a goal that we can make learning resources a true social utility where like urbanist or the michelin guide we become the go to place for curated resources.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I think that the learning and growth that you experience in education both personally and with others is unique and keeps me inspired and in love with the profession. The greater online community of educators out there inspire me everyday. I am yet to ever have anyone say no to a request for assistance in my PLN and that is an amazing statistic, I have been on twitter for over 9 years now and the ever-growing community is the inspiration to continually grow. All children have a right to education and as a teacher I embrace my own role as a learner. I have not had a single day in my teaching career where I have not learnt something that adds to my practice. I surround myself with people who see the value in learning and practice what they preach.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest rewards in education is seeing students continue to develop a sense of wonder and achievement in their education, everyday. I think the biggest challenge is to collaborate beyond the classroom and into the community. With this collaboration we need to extend our expertise into the community and in turn also learn from other communities out there. I see the need for schools, businesses and government sectors to collaborate and grow together. This is a challenge because schools and teachers take on so many responsibilities but do not always ask for help from the community and business sector. I see this as a role for accounts such as Edutweetoz in the future.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I think Australia needs to see all places learning place. We need to see all citizens as learners. These positive mindsets and perspectives are critical to the success of us as a country. We need to move beyond learning just happening in schools to a place where education is a community responsibility.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I see EdutweetOz playing a huge role in the flattening of educational structures so that everyone gets the chance to share their ideas and innovate. I think that Edutweetoz allows the Australian educational community to embrace the collective genius and begin to design new ideas that change bring about collective change.