Introducing Tenille Henniker

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?
TenilleI completed my Bachelor of Primary Education ​at Wollongong University in 2014. Before I studied Primary Education I completed a Diploma of Children Services 0-5 years old. I knew this wasn’t for me as I had always wanted to become a teacher. After graduating in the school holidays leading into 2015 I ended up picking up a position at Ajuga School which is an School for specific purpose (SSP) which is for students with an Emotional Disturbance. I was on the Austism class. I started the first day as casual by the end of the week I was Temp and by the August of the same year I became permanent. During my time at uni I always used to say I wanted to work at a low socio economic school and with the kids that needed it the most. My main passion has always been about making a difference. I have always have had high expectations of myself and the students. I am currently receiving Assistant Principal on the Support Unit at Belmore North Public school, I have been in this role since mid way through term 3 last year. My support Unit currently has 5 class which are made up of students with Autism and Intellectual disabilities. I am currently on the 4/5/6 class. I have so much passion and drive for students in special ed. It honestly gets me out of bed every morning knowing I am going to see those smiling faces.

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I have started to network more in my area, seeing other schools, classes, teaches and what they do really motivate me and keep me inspired. I have always been really lucky to always have such great bosses, mentors and supportive teams. I love new ideas, implamenting changes for the better, it keeps me motivated and fresh. I also gain a lot of ideas from Twitter.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The biggest rewards would be the smiling faces of those kids every day, successes in the small things such as the light bulb moments, working with kids every day, while doing what you love, being able to be a positive influence and role model in these kids lives, especially for the kids who may not have always had the best influences.
Challenges would have to be: timing (never enough hours in a day), work load.

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
​This one is a hard one. I am sure across time there are lots of things that ​can/could be changed. Some of the things I would like to see would be: smaller class sizes, more opinions valued from the people on the ground (teachers), more special ed schools and support for students with disabilities in main stream schools, more funding for schools instead of budget cuts.

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
It is great to have different people from different parts of education. By hosting they get to share all the different ides, perspectives and influence and get their different ideas out there. I hope this week to get more of an idea and understanding of special ed out there, I would love to know peoples perceptions on special ed and possibly more networking with other people in special ed.

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