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 recently entered the teaching profession as a mature-aged entrant. Straight out of school I was persuaded out of becoming an educator, having wanted to teach from the age of seven. Instead, I undertook studies in Economics. I spent several years employed in corporate roles prior to giving up paid work in order to be a stay-at-home mother. As my children grew, I started working in management for a large retail chain with the advantage of employment very close to home. During this time I was also appointed as an Assistant Cub Scout Leader which reignited my simmering passion for education. As such, I spent 2014/5 studying a graduate degree in Education supplemented by volunteer work in science outreach and Indigenous education. I was then fortunate to land a part-time position straight out of university teaching primary SciTech.. By term two this year, that morphed into a full-time position so that I now teach SciTech to all students P-6 at my school as well as teaching my own Year 5 class, three coding clubs and a STEM extension club.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
Inspiration comes in many forms, but primarily from my PLN. I am so thankful to have been welcomed to the profession by so many people involved in education in various capacities. Inspiration also comes from those who are more heavily involved in science – the scientists, the astronauts, the engineers, the inventors – I am in awe of their knowledge, intelligence and experience. The motivation for teaching SciTech is intrinsic. I love the content, I love the pedagogies I’m able to employ, and I love the enjoyment and engagement many of my students experience. The motivation for my year 5 class comes from building an ongoing relationship with the girls in my class, and watching them develop new strengths as students and people. Final motivation comes from my husband and children – they are consistently supportive of my journey, for which I am so grateful.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
With the perspective of an early career teacher, my focus tends to be on issues close to the heart. At the moment, this is what I see as the lack of true mentorship across all sectors and schools for early career teachers. Time management in terms of work/life balance is also a challenge – living the reality of an educator, I realise how much it encroaches on family life.
The rewards surely have not changed for people in education today – seeing a student “get it”, or succeed in unexpected ways is priceless. Having a student hug you, thank you and trust you are standout moments.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would allow teachers have a greater say in policy development and implementation.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz is a fabulous resource for bringing together educators in a non-commercial, collegial manner. I love that each week we are introduced to others who are involved in education who bring their various backgrounds, experiences and opinions to the “Twitter table”. My hopes for the account this week is to learn, teach, and share with others my own background, experiences and opinions and provide a vibrant conversation.