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 teaching for nine years now in a variety of different locations within Victoria. I began teaching in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where I have been teaching for the past seven years. I have primarily been involved in classroom teaching, however I spent two years out of the classroom working in an intervention role with students where English is an additional language. I have always worked in primary school environments where most of my teaching experience has been from F-2, with the exception being the past two years where I have been working in an open-plan ¾ Classroom. I think education was always something that I wished to be involved in, even though it was not what I initially pursued at University (I have a degree in Media Studies in addition to my education degree) it was always something that even from a young age that I enjoyed doing. Sometimes life has a funny way of finding the true path, not in the way that one initially expects.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I think it’s the constant surprises that keep happening every day. It’s the risk of trying something new along the way and not being afraid if it does not work. Also that the smaller events in the classroom are often for part of a bigger picture that you as a teacher help shape. As Finn in Adventure Time puts it so eloquently “Everything small is a smaller version of something big.” That sometimes the smallest accomplishment that my students can be something that takes on a path to something truly great.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
I always think the greatest rewards come from the conversations that one has with students. The moments where the students minds suddenly click is always a wonderful moment for anyone, no matter where you are or what you are doing. I think that is always the greatest rewards is just seeing students take those small steps as the begin and continue their learning journey.
I think one of the biggest challenges that education and the role that it has now in the modern world is the pace that it is changing. How do we prepare the students now for situations that we haven’t even begun to think of 10-15 years down the track. How can we equip students with the skills to be life-long learners when the voices that we need to listen to are coming from so many different viewpoints that it is hard to find the right path to take.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I think the biggest change and one that needs to continue to be refined is to develop a consistent approach to education across Australia not only for students but for teachers as well. It needs to be much easier for students and teachers to migrate between states in order to provide the best educational environment that we can have for students and teachers alike.
I also think one of the changes that we as teachers and educators make is actually selling ourselves. I feel sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We are doing a wonderful job in a very challenging and ever-changing job and it’s something that we fail to celebrate in the wider community. Rather than simply challenging the message that many have about the current education system, we need to actual celebrate rather than downplay the job that we do.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I think EduTweetOz not only helps provide a chance for teachers to interact with each other but it also provides us with opportunities to see us as people. I think sometimes we can get so bogged down in our working life that we can forget to actually remember that we are people as well, with our own things that makes us tick and drive us. I think I just want to find the things that make us inside and outside the classroom, as if we can have a greater understanding and acceptance of the varied experiences that we have, it ultimately gives us a greater appreciation of the things that make every single stakeholder in the educational experience tick.