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?
It’s my second time at the helm of the esteemed EduTweetOz account (my first time was back in 2014 when I led the discussions during National Science Week (https://edutweetoz.org/2014/08/10/leading-us-into-science-week-we-have-mrascience-hosting-edutweetoz-this-week/). I’ll be aiming at the doing the same this year, but with two weeks before the event, it will be all about talking about past memories, favourites investigations, events to go and see, technology in the classroom, building resources, assessment and dabbling into how to make science fun. As always, there will be discussions about other areas of education and the account is always open to questions.
Watch out for the competition that will run during the week on the @EduTweetOz account.
Currently, I sit as the Science Advisor 7-12 in State Office at the NSW Department of Education. I moved into State Office in early 2015, where my role is to provide support to science teachers regarding curriculum implementation. It is an amazing place to be and provides a different perspective to education in NSW, a very different environment compared to the classroom.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
About two years ago, I embraced the cliché of saying it was all about the students. My current role simply reinforces and cements that it is all about our students. The work that all teachers do is about the student, it affects the student, and is driven to help every student learn and succeed. Shout out to every educator out there, including the quiet ones who do an amazing job every single day without hope of praise or reward.
I still maintain the need to have lots of chocolate on hand. The one that comes with added sugar. And corn syrup. And artificial sweetener. Just because.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The education landscape has changed dramatically. As a teacher teaching in the 21st century it is a challenging and rewarding time to be teaching. Modern teaching has blurred the boundaries of the traditional school gate and has made education accessible. Technology has become a powerful tool which can be used seamlessly in the classroom (wifi signals pending of course). There are a myriad of resources and support tools for teacher to aid them in developing teaching and learning programs. It is an exciting time albeit challenging.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Where does one start? I don’t pretend to have the answers. Working at a local level in schools, I push for a strong focus on student learning, with literacy and numeracy taught across the disciplines; strong connections with feeder schools and effective transition programs that use the syllabus as a buy in; developing strong partnerships with universities, local businesses and industry and develop programs which engage students in their respective subjects and adds value and authenticity to their learning.
At a state and national level, I advocate for student voice and equity. Politicians may not see the work that teachers tirelessly carry out term after term. The decisions made do not always provide changes to the system that are effective or sometimes make sense. The move to make education for all, to make it accessible for all and to make Australian education the best in the world all receive ticks in my book.
For those interested, my book is called “Education: a vision for the future”. J
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz allows educators a powerful platform to be able to discuss and bring up issues in education. It is a wonderful way to showcase what teachers are doing and allow them to voice their concerns and thoughts in a safe place.
This week, it’s all about building up to National Science Week and the Sydney Science Festival. There will be science, I promise, and some more science. And just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore science – BAM! You just got scienced*!