And now, Danielle Vandenberg (@DanielleVeeDB) settles in for the week

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?

kzwqtg6cI began my career in fashion design in a large fashion house in Sydney but I always felt unfulfilled and that I wasn’t actually doing anything of importance. After two years I left and followed my calling which is a love of English, Drama and pedagogy. My own English/Drama teacher was an absolute inspiration and really motivated me to learn, I thought it was a privilege to be able to impact young people’s lives in that way. I am currently Head Teacher English and have this year, with a few colleagues registered as a professional teachers’ association focused on innovative pedagogies, which I think is an opportunity to build a learning community of teachers who want to engage students through evidence based research. Our FB group is Innovation 4 Education Association but or email to all NSW Teachers is coming soon. I really look forward to collaborating with some amazing educators!

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

Students who rely on high quality teachers, as I did, to get the most out of school. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a student whose life you have positively impacted. Like minded colleagues who are focused on transforming education, taking on feedback and deep learning. My own kids who I believe need strong role models and the opportunity to shine at school regardless of their interests and talents.

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

It is an exciting time to be in education. Education hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years so to have he chance to be part of this revolution is exciting. However, it is also the greatest challenge because traditionally students and parents fear change more than they embrace it.

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

I would love to see the HSC exams draw on skills such as collaboration and critical thinking and instead of having exams which students possibly learn by rote, have them solve real world problems. I love teaching English but sometimes teaching the HSC feels extremely formulaic.

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

Collaboration is a big one. Twitter has made it incredibly easy to engage in professional learning at flexible times and engage in meaningful conversations with educators around the world. I really hope this week inspires teachers to give new pedagogies and practices a go and it encourages people to take an interest in our professional teachers’ association so we can build a community of teachers willing to support one another in a very interesting time in education.

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