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 was one of those secondary students that teachers dread having… so naturally, I went into teaching. But that’s entirely true. My mum is a teacher and I used to help out in her classroom whenever I could. She was so hands-on with her students and I loved watching her interact with them on a personal level. One of the students with special needs took a liking to me and I began working with her after school several times a week. That’s when I truly found my passion for teaching and started my Bachelor of Education at Notre Dame University, Fremantle.
My first teaching position was at Iona Presentation Primary School in 2012. I had three of the amazing mentors (@technanna2, @lesleybak and @SusanKayWA) who pushed me beyond a graduate level. In 2013 I moved to Sacred Heart Primary School in Highgate. Once again I had two dynamic mentors (@DunningChris and @Adrian_Torrese) who challenged me to aim high with my teaching and learning. I joined the Key Teacher of ICT group and later that year was made one of the Exemplary Educators of ICT for Catholic Education WA (CEWA).
At the end of 2014 I took maternity leave and had my daughter. I love being a mum more than anything in the world but was missing the teaching profession. That’s when I fell into my current part-time role of Digital Learning Consultant at CEWA. I am so fortunate to be able to enjoy two of my great loves every week. Play dates, coffees with other SAHMs and constant laughter with my daughter, as well as facilitating PD for WA educators, playing with exciting digital learning tools and working with school staff who want to expand their knowledge and expertise in digital learning. Win-win!
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
Fellow educators keep me inspired. I love talking with teachers online, at TeachMeets or through my work and finding out what they are doing in their classrooms. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing mentors in all of my roles thus far and hope that I am passing on some of their wisdom to the teachers I work with. Seeing students and teachers grow and learn new skills is also a huge motivation for me.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest reward for me would be relationships. I pride myself on fully engaging with the community I’m working with and seeing their perspective on things. I have met so many amazing educators around Australia and am constantly rewarded by their support and feedback.
The biggest challenge would be accepting change. I’m a change lover but have seen a fair bit of commotion when educators don’t accept that change needs to happen. My advice is to accept change for what it is and embrace it. If it still doesn’t sit right for you then do something about it, don’t just sulk and bring others down.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Well, I’m not a fan of standardised testing or homework… But I don’t want to step on toes here.
I would make sure all schools had great wifi and an IT support person or team based at the school to assist them.
I would also twist a few arms in the travel industry to see if we could arrange for cheaper flights to rural and remote WA. We are such a large state and would benefit hugely from working face to face with educators and students in those areas. Plus, they truly are some of the most exquisite landscapes in the world!
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
This week I am heading to the EduTech Conference in Brisbane. I’m looking forward to sharing some amazing ideas, resources and educators with you for the first half of the week. From then on I’d love to explore some of my passions in more detail. Problem based learning, contemporary learning spaces, digital learning tools, TeachMeets and social media for educators. Bring it on!!