The 2014 school year did not start particularly well.
As a result of State Government funding cuts to education, and other unrelated factors, I experienced my worst start to the relief teaching year since I graduated six years ago. In addition, I’d returned to postgraduate study, and was struggling to cope with my overly ambitious academic workload. Suffice to say the first half of 2014 was not a pleasant time.
It is ironic then, that I am now glad that my relief phone stopped ringing … as it led to my applying for, and winning an ICT teaching position at a top private girls school in June. I had no idea that I would find myself working for an administration who share my philosophy and vision for the use of ICT to support students’ learning, and who genuinely model pastoral care for their staff. After many years working in an often uncaring, indifferent Government education system (there was a lot I couldn’t share in this post), I have no desire to go back.
2014 was the year:
- I keynoted the inaugural #OZeLive online conference, which will return in February 2015
- I returned to postgraduate study at Notre Dame University, with excellent academic results (despite an overwhelming start).
- I travelled to Sydney, Australia for two amazing conferences – Flat Connections and #Slide2Learn 2014, meeting many wonderful Twitter friends for the first time.
- My global education work was featured in Neville Bruce’s TEDx Perth presentation on ‘Education for World Futures’.
- I started working at my new school, one which I am proud to call home for another year.
- I received the incredible news that I will be presenting two group poster sessions, and an iPad workshop at the #ISTE15 conference in Philadelphia, USA.
As one door closes, another opens …
In 2014, I’ve finally started my transition out of relief teaching, after five and half years on the road. It has been a mostly positive journey, but the time has come to leave it behind. While I probably stayed in that role for too long (it took a high emotional toll), I am grateful for the opportunity which now presents itself. I’m about to start my first ‘long term’ part-time contract in a Catholic school; a school where I finally feel free to learn, grow, innovate, and push the boundaries of what is possible with ICT.