From press releases to pressing reports…
Come 2017 and now I am determined to either start my own “super school”; or, at the very least facilitate a broadcasting platform for my students to produce and engage in.
I think that secretly, somewhere, deep down, I always knew that I would (or at least should) end up a teacher.
Instead, after completing my Bachelor of Arts in Newcastle, I set off for Sydney to pursue a media career. Specifically, I wanted to be on the radio, music is an integral part of my life, plus I figured that it would be easier than attempting to pursue an illustrious acting career.
In 2007, I was accepted into a Master’s program at the leading journalism university (UTS). It almost perfectly coincided with the digital boom, whereby the once newly recruited journalism cadet was required to know shorthand in order to be proficient and employed. It is now almost entirely redundant given that at any given time most people are equipped with high-tech recording devices they can whip out in an instant.
I was fascinated though, by this new lawless and nebulous society that was vastly
overtaking the notion of traditional media, it became my “round” while working on a current affairs show in Sydney.
Eventually, I was offered the job of producing and publishing, presenting and gathering a journalism team together for “The Fourth Estate”: a national media and communications program that was the only one of its kind for a few years back in 2010.
This compelled me to learning how to code, compress, publish and promote an active website to accompany the show. I still boast such skills in web design (proof is in this pudding, I have created css for this website).
After funds were cut, I was officially made redundant and got by freelancing with ArtsAustralia, managing a community station in generating a sponsorship drive and produced pieces for a UK broadcaster, Monocle.
Long story short, I was accepted into Monash university’s graduate diploma for secondary teaching, 2013, and I accepted my lot, deciding that becoming a teacher at 30 was a sensible rite of passage to indicate that I wouldn’t be working backstage at music festivals or calling UK talent at 3am at the radio station, such as my 20s dictated.
Even the fact that I hadn’t completed a VCE – instead, completing the NSW HSC in 2002 – left me feeling initially addled by the confusing system of such varied curriculum in this country. All those acronyms: GAT, SAC, as well as the multitude of others on top of that, sounded almost foreign to me.
After I completed the course, my first position was out in the midst of East Gippsland, Maffra Secondary College was an incredible year for me in many ways, learning about my new professional self in the classroom.
The collage below encapsulates the journey over that year: from the charred remains of the oval as I was confronted with a fire on my second yard duty (ever!) set by one of the students (though accidentally, as his attempt to light an illicit cigarette backfired, literally). Then there were jay-walking bulls to avoid on the roads, the lectures that I was compiling and presenting as I was teaching Year 12 VCE English…
It also marks the pride I took in proposing and developing an entirely new (and ongoing) unit of work for Year 8 English where they were to demonstrate knowledge of the conventions of genre through the production of their own short film, which then became an annual film festival event.
The Year 10 kids who insisted on us having a photo together because we had made immense progress – probably I was the one to learn the most from them – but we didn’t start out with any such rapport, let me tell you!!
BACK TO MELBOURNE…
I then decided to head back for Melbourne, taking up a very temporary contract at Mt Erin College that wound up being a year’s work, it was so much easier and fun to teach these amazing kids, as well as learning about teaching to the deaf, as Mt Erin had quite a large number of students with some sort of hearing impairment.
I feel as though I spent a lot of time designing Year 7 curriculum – in both English (where I was asked to act in the role of “team leader” – and Drama so that it would accommodate to the niche groups that the school boasts: from SEAL to Sports Accelerated to Arts Academy and I believe that I was able to do this in a really successful and effective way
where all kids wanted to be a part of what my lessons had to offer.
I learned to develop effective formative assessment techniques in teaching two Year 10 English classes, by using the new(ish) online testing application, Socrative, where the results were clearly indicating what I needed to back over in my teaching and they also enjoyed the use of a digital platform with which to do so.
I am now finishing my second year at Cranbourne Secondary College, having taken on a new role entirely by acting as Year 8 Coordinator throughout 2017.
I also acted as the promotions officer, below is the publicity poster I designed for the school musical and a snippet of the school newsletter. I also contributed to former school year books with graphic design layouts.