This week we welcome Tamika Worrell

Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

I’ve just completed my Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in English and Society and Culture. Going down the education path made sense to me as I had always loved learning, since my first prac I knew teaching was the right career for me as I felt so at home in the classroom. Education has cemented my passion for closing the educational gap of Indigenous students and supporting them the best I can within whatever role I’m involved in. Within my studies I’ve been involved in teachmeets, received the ETA NSW Beginning teacher scholarship as well as an amazing scholarship that allowed me to undertake a practicum at an International school in Hong Kong.  I’m currently working for Reconciliation Australia on the Narragunnawali team, promoting reconciliation in schools and early learning services. Our new platform is completely free and hosts a range of PL and curriculum resources. ( I’m also an Indigenous Educator at the Australian Museum, sharing cultural knowledge with the school groups that attend to museum to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. I also serve on the Board of Youth Action, the peak body for young people in NSW as a young person member.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

My culture keeps me inspired and motivated, even though i’m still on my own cultural learning journey I am always driven by the cultural knowledge I have to offer students and other educators when it comes to teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. My family definitely motivates me as well, they have supported me to pursue anything my heart desired.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

We are educating young people and preparing them for jobs that don’t exist yet, we’re working with innovators and the young people that will be the leaders of tomorrow, and if we can help them on their learning journey that is massive reward. As well as instilling resilience and growth mindsets into our students and seeing them thrive in areas beyond our own disciplines. Ensuring we are helping to create culturally literate citizens who can navigate their own worlds when they leave school. I think one of the biggest challenges is time, we have more to get done than ever and we are still working with the same amount of time leading teachers to become disheartened and run down, we need to practice self care in order to combat this.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

Further embed Indigenous perspectives and support teachers in order to implement these effectively from a local level.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I see EduTweetOz connecting educators and forming a large supporting network of teachers to support and assist each other, leading to innovations in education. I hope that on the account this week I can aid in helping people think about Indigenous cultures and histories beyond NAIDOC week, thinking about the land we live and work on and the languages and songlines that exists within these lands that have always existed. We need to support all students in the classroom to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, regardless of whether we have Indigenous students in our classroom of not. As well as connecting educators to prominent Indigenous figures and sources for further information for general teaching and knowledge.

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