What inspired you to teach science?
I was 10 years into my career before I considered teaching science. The STEM subjects were not what I excelled at during my own education, so I focussed on literacy and well-being as my specialist areas in my early career. I attended some wonderful professional learning in the STEM subjects in 2013 and it ignited a real interest in learning more. I started to experiment with science topics and included technology and other subjects to make larger, integrated units. This was very successful, and my love of science grew from there. I became a STEM coordinator and supported colleagues to plan and implement the science and technologies curriculum and found that as my skillset grew, so did my love of STEM. All it took was one great teacher, which changed my teaching career path.
What aspect of being a teacher/ leader do you find most rewarding?
I love my current role because I get to be a teacher and a leader. I am part of the leadership team of the Prep school, but I am also very involved with teaching. In our school, everyone teaches, and it is so important that the people making decisions for education are active in classrooms and learning spaces. By far, the most rewarding aspect of my role is working with students and having those wonderful moments of connection when they realise they are capable of more than they gave themselves credit for.
What opportunities do you see to enhance the quality of teaching and learning?
So many opportunities are open to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through technology. Distance learning opened up during the recent pandemic and has shown us many ways education can reach people who may not have easy access to traditional systems. This has only started to be uncovered, and the possibilities are exciting. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another area that seems a little frightening but so intriguing as to how it can enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Mentoring programs are essential, with real teachers with vast experience invaluable to encouraging excellence in the profession from the beginning of each teaching career.
Do you have advice for others on the path to becoming a science teacher or thinking of teaching science?
I would advise those considering a teaching career to embrace STEM subjects. Through science, the world unfolds and makes far more sense, and the look of wonder in our student’s eyes as they realise this is a very special moment. These are fun, engaging, hands-on subjects, and science especially allows us to investigate, question and experiment. There is never a dull moment in a good science class!