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?
Both my parents were art teachers (one is now a professor), so that was an influence. At school I considered pursuing careers in acting and law, and even biology at one point. In the end, I felt I needed a career that allowed me to keep learning and developing in many different areas and benefited society, rather than lining the pockets of a CEO.
I started off as a generalist primary teacher, and gradually became a high school teacher (via middle school!). I have taught in Special Education contexts, a brief stint as a PE teacher, Year 7 Core (Maths/Science) but mostly 7-12 IT and middle years maths. I completed my Master of Education early in my career, via research pathway. I have also done sessional tutoring and casual marking for QUT and USQ within the education faculties. I am starting my Master of Information Technology degree next week.
I am currently employed as a secondary teacher of Information Technology and Mathematics at an independent girls’ school in Brisbane. I have been there for 5 years. I hope to move into a PAR role soon in my career.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I am very fortunate to have a dedicated and supportive HoD, as well as highly-skilled colleagues. Nothing quite inspires me as much as my students though – I need to be the best I can for them. My family is always very supportive of my doing online PD courses or going to conferences, so I’d better mention them too.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The reward is that look on the kid’s face when they spell the word/solve the equation/get the robot to move/find the bug in the code/apply the last dash of acrylic to the canvas etc. That’s why we keep turning up each day. What else is more important?
I can’t provide anything new in regards to ‘challenges’; my main bugbear is that educators will never cease getting it in the neck from those who wouldn’t know. I liken it to me walking onto a building site and telling the foreman how to best do their job.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Remove high-stakes tests (from all areas). Give everyone a breather from NAPLAN. Tell people to stop taking PISA as gospel.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
The account is a great idea, and has had many great educators as host during my time on Twitter. It’s a good forum for hearing from a variety of different educators (something I value highly – vive la difference!). I hope I can make a few new connections and maybe get in a shameless plug for my book…