Amos McKenzie Clarkson, Teacher

Amos

My teaching philosophy centres around giving an atmosphere that is warm and relaxed, is tolerant of mistakes but wanting to motivate the students. I use humour and try to keep the students engaged with different activities and use different ways of interacting with them.

Different people are motivated by different things. Sometimes to break through and find out real problem is not always so easy.

I often find that if we treat the student with respect and we have a relaxed and approachable kind of a manner, they often will talk to us and explain to us what the issues that they’re facing are.

A lot of the time they might be scared because they don’t understand or because their academic ability is low, particularly their literacy. So, I think just motivating that way works a lot.

I love teaching. I’ve had a lot of different experiences over the years, I’ve worked in management, I’ve worked in teaching. I love doing both of them.

But to see the light go on in a student’s eyes – when they don’t understand something, and then you explain it to them then the light goes on, and you can see “Ah, they’ve finally got it”. To have students come back to you a year, 2 years, 10 years later and say “you teaching me this or that has really helped me, and it’s been motivating me” – that feedback is really good.

Khyiah Angel, Senior Teacher

Khyiah

I’m all about access and equity. School’s not the right place for all kids. I really like the idea of alternative pathways to Higher Ed, if that’s what somebody wants.

I write Young Adult Fiction, gritty urban realism for young adults ages 11+. I’ve got one coming out at the end of August called “I know why you run”. It’s a psychological thriller for 14-24 year-olds.

I used to teach high school so I was always observing the interactions between young people and hearing the stories. Some of them are just amazing stories. I decided to start writing them down. Not specific stories, but I gained inspiration from students and scenarios and situations. I also run a multi-modal publishing Ed-Tech business, called Typology Tech, on the side. I do professional learning courses for teachers, in multi-modal text, creating and consuming multi-modal text, coding stories, app-smashing, stop motion animation. In the novels I use some of these techniques,

some of the novels coming up will be hybrid, half in text and half in gameplay. Readers read the first 5 chapters in book/paperback format, then they go online and take those characters through the next couple of chapters themselves in game format.

Eugene Quah, Program Manager – Foundation Programs

Eugene

In my job I get a to meet staff and students from different cultural backgrounds and I learn a lot from them.

I constantly learn amazing things from students. I was recently talking to a student who was not very motivated in his study and I was trying to get to the root of the problem. As our conversation went, the student started to share with me how he spent his time, other than study. And I won’t go too much into details but he was having to take responsibility for some things for his family, which was taking a lot of time and energy from his study. And I said “you need to stop doing that and focus on your study, otherwise you’re not going to get anywhere”.

This story taught me a very good lesson about students’ motivation and why they’re not engaging. Sometimes students are not performing not because of an academic reason, or because they’re not able, it’s simply because there are other reasons behind it. We actually have to get to know the students. We can’t treat them as a number, otherwise we won’t be able to resolve the root of the motivation issue. There are other challenges students face. Some of them have accommodation issues, work, family pressures.

When you’re in a pathway program it’s more than just teaching and learning. You have to get to know the student.

I enjoy learning more about the student and helping them achieve their goals.

Dimity Wehr, Learning Designer – Curriculum and Assessment

Dimity

Back in the mid-2000s I was living in Esperance, a regional area. An enabling program was created for a remote and mature age regional students through Curtin University, so they could actually articulate to University, having not done the regular high school pathway. Back in the day those enabling programs are very new, in fact it was probably one of the first of its kind.

I continued in that enabling space both as a curriculum designer and developer and as of facilitator. I’d been at Curtin for 8 years-and a sort of was welcoming a sea change. I have been coming to Sydney over the last 2 years for yoga teacher training in east Redfern so I’d got to know Sydney and had made a few friends here through the yoga space. So I sought out changing and direction. I found this job at MUIC where they were recreating their curriculum and I thought that was an interesting thing to be doing in the enabling space.

It was sort of marrying my two vocation profiles; my design profile and my enabling/articulation profile together. So I was interviewed and got the job.

What inspires me about this job is probably the people, the communication, the team. I was fortunate to be paired up with a really interesting colleague, the two of us mesh together really well, our ideas and our experience. Being in a new team is a learning experience as well, learning to adapt to new place, new people, see how other places and people work and operate.

Posted by Geraldine Timmins

I am the Community and Engagement Lead for the Learning Innovation Hub and Teche Editor. I like joining the dots and starting conversations. Feel free to get in touch with story and event ideas.

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