Ben Zonca in da EduTweetOz house! (@benjaminzonca1)

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Ben Zonca…plus one

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?

My path to education came after, and was inspired by, an extended foray into the music industry. I had no intention of becoming a teacher after high school, and remember few of my own teachers fondly – I was the definition of a disengaged student throughout secondary school. After some success as a classical musician, producer and recording engineer, I married a teacher, and was inspired to follow in her footsteps! From there my passion grew, and have since had roles in primary and secondary music education, MYP and Literacy coordinator in the middle years, and am currently teaching Grade 4 in a PYP school where I also coordinate international education and coach literacy.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

The incredible and often untapped potential of young people; when given the tools to critically and creatively engage in big ideas, to consider the values and beliefs of others, to critically explore multiple perspectives, and to follow their passions, young people flourish, and demonstrate the need for an education system that moves forward with the world.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

I think I’m stating the obvious, but navigating an expanding curriculum, and an increasingly complex world is challenging, but packaging of this into something relevant, challenging, engaging, and worthwhile of exploration is a challenge that brings with it great rewards. Working alongside students who are actively building an understanding of the world around them, and their significant place in it, is the reason I continue to develop my practice.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I’m a huge advocate of the International Baccalaureate as an educational framework that values students as the guiding voice in the classroom, and recognizes young people as an integral part of a globalized society, and believe that a lot can be taken from this and used to strengthen national programs worldwide.

Educators on Twitter, I think at least generally, are more predisposed to keeping up-to-date with movements in education, and in an ideal world this would be the mindset of all educators. Unfortunately though, this may never be the case, but we can hope!

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

Keeping the conversation going, whatever that conversation may be, is incredibly important, and EduTweetzOz is the perfect platform for a diverse selection of educators to do exactly that. Giving a voice to teachers brings them out of their individual context, offering both the host account, and those they interact with a chance to challenge perspectives, be challenged themselves, and to strengthen the Twitter’s educational community.

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