This week’s host is Amanda Kowalczyk, @miss_manda_k

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 studied a bachelor of commerce at Uni initially. It was during this time when I realised that the corporate world was not going to be for me. I wanted a job where I could give back and use my creative flare to guide my passion. A Diploma of Education would give me just that so I applied and was successful that same year.
My first practicum was amazing, I knew I had made the right decision. I started my teaching career working with gifted and talented students. I was then offered temporary work at a school for students with emotional disturbance and behaviour disorders- could I do it was what I was thinking. I took on the challenge and fell in love. So much in love that when I was offered a targeted graduate position at a mainstream primary school I turned it down.
I have held roles of classroom teacher, Head teacher, Assistant Principal and my current role of Principal all in NSW government schools. I am substantive at a special school in Glenfield (Sydney) but am currently relieving at a mainstream primary school and loving it! I don’t know what my future holds but I do know that it will be working with kids in some way. Watching them grow learn and develop their own passions is what gets me out of bed every day.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I will always admire my first principal, to this day I still often think ‘what would Anne do in this situation?’. Being a teacher is so dynamic, every day brings new challenges and I like that, it is never boring and brings with it many opportunities for growth and to assist in the growth of others. What more could one person want?
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The constant often inaccurate media coverage that seems to be occurring is an ongoing challenge. We get such a bad rap sometimes and it is most definitely not founded. Public School teachers are the hardest working group of people that I know and I admire each and every one of them for stepping up to the plate each day.
The biggest rewards I can identify would be the
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would ensure that the NERA (Gonski) funding finally makes it way in to special schools. They currently do not receive the equity loadings that mainstream schools do even though we enrol and teach some if the toughest students in the State.
My daughter just sat the HSC. That is something else that needs some work. So much stress, and for what? A piece of paper? Understanding that now students can gain access to University courses without an ATAR is this really the way of the future?
I would do away with private schools- parents should expect, know and understand that they will receive an amazing free education at any school across the state regardless of postcode.
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 an amazing platform to bring together educators from across the globe! What an amazing opportunity that is- to share and collaborate on practice with college us you have never ad may never meet face to face.
This week it is my hope to engage as many people as possible in relevant educational conversations, share my thoughts and practices and make new friends!
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