New to EduTweetOz, here is Kylie Youkhana

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 am a mature-age, early career teacher. I graduated from Macquarie University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education (Birth – 12). I did not get a UAI in high school and therefore I did not even apply to go to university. I thought that the doors to higher education were shut so I worked in administration and was in the role of an Office Manager. I always felt like something was missing, I could do my job, and do it well, but it wasn’t fulfilling. I decided to look into TAFE courses and met with a TAFE counselor who had me complete an aptitude test, the test showed my areas of strength and highlighted teaching as a career that would suit. From there I discovered that I was able to get into university via alternative pathways. I completed a STAT test and was accepted into a B.Ed degree at Macquarie University, while completing my degree I worked at a temp agency for child care and then as a nanny for an amazing family. Upon finishing my degree I worked as a Casual Relief Teacher and then secured consistent work from my current school. With my current school I have worked in a variety of roles, New Arrivals, LaST, EaLD, RFF and Classroom Teacher. For the last two years I have been a Stage 3 teacher on a 5/6 Composite Class. I have also lead the choir, coached the PSSA team, as well as being part of our school STEM Action Team. I am currently coordinating our community of schools’ performing arts festival. I am a self professed techie and love sharing my knowledge, skills and passion for integrating ICT with my colleagues.

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

Of course I love the lightbulb moments, but the ultimate reward for my work that keeps me motivated is watching a student learn to love learning. I love seeing the student who thinks that they can’t, all of a sudden realise that they can. I love knowing that every day will be different and that for some kids I am the difference in their day.

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

Biggest rewards: Working with inspired people (colleagues and executives) and inspiring our students.
Biggest Challenges: The gaps…. Gaps in preparation from university for real teaching practice, gaps in communication from the top down, gaps in knowledge and understanding among all students.

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

I would put key decision makers into classrooms so that they get first hand experience at what life is truly like. I would reform standardised testing and make it more relevant and accessible for students. I would reduce the administrative burden on teachers. Am I going too far?

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
EduTweetOz brings us all together, it gives us a place to share our thoughts and to challenge our perceptions. It is a place where our voices become one, and one collective voice can be powerful.

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