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?
After a few years of overseas travel, I found myself at a major cross-road in my life. I decided to enroll in a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University of Technology at the now defunct Ku-ring-gai Campus in Lindfield. The beautiful leafy campus tucked into Sydney suburbia is where I arrived as a mature aged student – pregnant, divorced, with a one year old.
I did end up having to skip a semester but then made it up with summer school completing my degree half a year later than my peers. The practicums I undertook were with the guidance of amazing educators. They confirmed for me my love of teaching and let me know that I was taking the right path.
As a targeted graduate, I had the good fortune to teach at a range of schools across Sydney and am now an Assistant Principal at Boronia Park Public in Sydney’s inner northern suburbs.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I live to connect with others. I’m driven by the connections I make with students across my school and in my class. I’m driven by a passionate desire to make things better for them, for our community and the teachers in my school. The smiles, the hi-fives and hugs, those amazing light bulb moments are a panacea to the hum drum of reports and administrative requirements of our job. The joy I get out of connecting with other educators feeds my desire to do better, but also reinvigorates my passion for education.
People come into your life to teach you lessons and my life has seen a vast array of that. I’ve been motivated to do better by people that have challenged my drive and determination and have been inspired to succeed by teaching alongside some amazing educators and leading under some amazing principals.
I love to build collective teacher efficacy through sharing and collaborating with others as well as being involved in Teachmeets, Twitter and Yammer where I’ve connected with educators from around the world.
I’m passionate about technology, creating websites, blogs etc. and took a year off class to just teach through technology while beginning my Masters in Educational Leadership. I’m continually trying to build my capacity as an educator and leader and have already completed the DoE’s management credential to further my understanding of running a school.
I am also chair of the Lane Cove River Alliance – a group of eleven local schools and through them we’re organising a 400+ staff development day around Wellbeing. This direction came out of analysing the needs of staff from their feedback following the inaugural SDD of which I was also a part.
Above all, the continual support of my husband and children keeps me motivated and able to focus on the many tasks at hand.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
One of the biggest challenges facing teachers today is the disconnect between public perceptions of our roles and the reality of the difficulties, and limitations, that we have to deal with every day. This gap in understanding may never be bridged!
The rewards, however, are abundant.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
My first step would be to ensure that all schools, government or independent, enjoyed equal base funding across all levels of government. Then, make it more equitable for schools dealing with educationally disadvantaged students such as students with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with limited English language proficiency, low socioeconomic status (SES) students, and students in regional, rural and remote areas to access additional funding where required.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I’m hoping that EduTweetOz will further connect teachers across the country – if not the world! – and help us all become better informed on those subjects that we hold dear as well as those we are yet to discover. My passion for collective teacher efficacy is building one teacher at a time.
On a personal note, I hope that many of you will reach out and connect with me on Twitter. You can find me @Angie8881