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?
C: I wanted to be a teacher since I had an inspirational teacher in Year 4 – Miss Dewing. She taught me how to love learning which is what I hope to instil in others. I had all of my initial teaching years in the Public ACT system which was amazing and forms the basis of my collaborative, agile teaching and inquiry methods. After this, I worked at Northern Beaches Christian School finishing up my time there earlier last year as Community Leader for Stage 3. I currently work as a classroom teacher at Immanuel Primary School in Adelaide. I also help manage InnovatED_SA which is a small group with a mission to get an alternative voice about education into the mainstream. I am also on the EdTechSA committee.
R: I graduated from Flinders University in 2004, and was appointed as the “High School Teacher” in a remote Indigenous community called Marree (at the junction of the Oodnadatta, and Birdsville Tracks). Since then I have been involved in the following roles:
- 6-12 Coordinator at Leigh Creek Area School – Responsible for Middle School curriculum, SACE and Vocational Education Programmes.
- SACE Coordinator at Birdwood High School – Responsible for Year 12 management, SACE and the VET Automotive Industry Pathways program development
- SACE, VET, HASS and Business and Enterprise Coordinator at Willunga High School.
- HASS, English, Research Project & PLP teacher at Willunga High School.
- Consultant – Innovation in Schools – at Flinders University New Venture Institute.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
C: Twitter has completely invigorated my career. The networking and ideas and research that I gather through Twitter makes me so excited about the changing face of education.
I love watching kids learn and I love watching others teach – I think the process of education is so exciting.
R: This is an amazing time to be in education – and even though there are many problems – there are so many possibilities. At the moment, I’m loving the opportunity to learn from startup entrepreneurs at the New Venture Institute (Startup Incubator). There are so many lessons for education about the process of innovating in this space. I’m inspired and motivated by what happens when we bring students, entrepreneurs and teachers together to co-design innovations in their schools.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
C: The opportunities for modern teaching and learning are so rewarding. Seeing an entire community grow in their understanding of what this looks like is so exciting. But the process of helping the community to understand the importance of modern teaching and learning is challenging.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
C: I’d help us all to be risk-takers – just try stuff! When teachers are risk-takers; kids will be to – this will create a culture of innovation.
R: I would seek to really involve the community (entrepreneurs, parents & community organisations) in what we do. As educators, I believe that we can be a little bit “insular” and talk a different language to the community around EduReform. If we invite stakeholders into the Edu debate, we can bring about relevant, lasting and meaningful change.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
C: I’m excited about the collaboration and networking – we’re all in this together!
R: I see EduTweetOz as playing a vital role in connecting teachers and leaders to share good practice and challenge our individual conceptions of education. This week I hope to promote conversations around:
- change management,
- the changing role of teachers,
- Students as co-designers of edu-change
- do we need to attract ‘different thinkers’ into the education profession and
- innovation in education.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
C: Join in – let’s have fun!