A bit more about me
Updated: May 6, 2020
My first job in education was as a volunteer teacher at a rural school in Malambanyama, Zambia. Despite many setbacks, I found myself loving the work; I appreciated the humour and honesty of my students and enjoyed the challenge of making things happen with little more than a blackboard and chalk. Now, almost 20 years later, and with well over a decade’s experience in the classroom, I still get the same thrill out of teaching.
For the first 8 years of my career I was a Global Politics and History teacher. I was passionate about what I taught and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Then in 2012, I was given the opportunity to lead my school’s literacy and numeracy support program. Shocked by the number of students who, as teenagers, were still struggling to achieve functional literacy and numeracy skills and realising that this was an area where I could really make a difference, in 2015 I undertook a Master’s degree in Learning Intervention at the University of Melbourne, specialising in Specific Learning Difficulties. I then went on to work as a Literacy Consultant and Learning Support Leader at two local secondary schools.
In these roles, my experiences were many and varied: I developed a systematic phonics intervention program designed specifically for teenagers and implemented a whole-school dyslexia screening process. I spent time at High Tech High in San Diego learning about Project Based Learning and worked with school leadership to redesign learning pathways for students with literacy or Maths difficulties.
I have taught both literacy & numeracy support and gifted and talented classes. I have administered educational assessments, run Program Support Group (PSG) meetings, and written Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). I understand the way schools work. I also know that whilst there are many amazing teachers out there who go above and beyond to support all learners, most schools, particularly secondary schools, struggle to deliver truly inclusive education.
It is for this reason that I am making the exciting move into private practice. By setting up my own independent education consultancy business, I will have the opportunity to focus all my efforts on the identification and empowerment of students with learning differences, unencumbered by a system that was not designed with diversity in mind.
Although this type of work seems worlds away from where I began my teaching career all those years ago, I feel in many ways that I have come full circle. Universal access to inclusive education, wherever you live and whoever you are, is a human right. With education comes knowledge, purpose and dignity - and no young person should ever be made to feel less than because they are prevented from accessing these things.