Tag Archives: teaching

Chris Garner – Tedx Presentation

The below video is an interesting presentation that Chris Garner gave at TedxDarwin 2011. The core focus of his talk is around making content relevant to individual experience and the effect this has had on outcomes for the Indigenous students at his school. I find it really surprising that it’s taken this long for Australians to be talking about making content relevant. I would imagine that it would see success with non-Indigenous students as well. Either way, it’s an interesting presentation and food for thought.


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Five days..

Five days left until I’ve finished all the coursework that enables me to be a teacher. That’s pretty scary – because the closer that I get to the end of the course, the more I realise how little I actually know.

I’ve just finished writing a paper on Numeracy issues and one of those continually repeated mantras was that teachers out on the APY Lands are inexperienced, enthusiastic but unable to translate that enthusiasm into success because of the lack of experience. That worries me. Am I just part of the problem? Am I about to tourist teach? Am I ready to teach?

In two weeks, I head out to my town to meet the fellas, teachers, teach for a week and curriculum plan. I guess I’ll know more about my capacity then. My confidence might be completely destroyed or indeed built up…


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Pre Lands Update

Things are gearing up. I finished my final placement in Melbourne this week. I really enjoyed my time at the school, but still cannot imagine myself working in a mainstream secondary environment now, if ever. I did prefer working in a lower socio-economic school though. The kids seemed more vibrant to me – more challenging, more interesting, more prepared to give things a go without fear of failure. And more willing to tell you where to go if they weren’t interested. I like that anti-authoritarian spirit.

I was in Adelaide a couple of weeks back tying up the loose ends for registration. Navigating different states’ Departments is difficult and frustrating. But finally I have my First Aid certificate, my Mandatory Notification certificate and every other document that I need to send in. All I have to do now is send it in…

I am heading to the town at the end of November for a week or so. It will my first time meeting the other teachers and staff at the school and the guys that I’m going to be working with. Am I actually ready for this next step? Am I going to be able to teach on the Lands properly? Do I have the imagination – the confidence – the desire – the strength? The ability to listen?

I’d like to chat to a mate who has recently begun at another town on the Lands. I wonder how he is going. He’s internet-less, though, from what I hear.

Not long now. Two weeks left of university. Eek.

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Pre-Lands Introduction and lack of About page

If anyone stumbles on this page now, here’s the deal:

I’m about to move out to the desert, to the Australian outback, to take my first post as a teacher (for real). I’m originally of Adelaide, Australia, currently live in Melbourne, Australia and have previously lived in Madrid, Spain and London, UK. I’ve been a musician, a bureaucrat, a retail monkey, a call centre monkey, a McDonald’s monkey, a pseudo-music journalist (read – I reviewed gigs for free and the occasional free CD), an ESL teacher, a bartender in previous incarnations. I speak Spanish and English, one much better than the other. I know a handful of words in German and Pitjantjatjara. I studied the history of anarchism or more specifically the Spanish Civil War and once had dreams of being a dusty old anarchic professor. All of these roads have led me to here, to this point.

In three months, I graduate from a Masters of Teaching (fingers crossed I pass). While undertaking the course, I was placed at three very different schools – a wealthy, all-girls school, an Aboriginal school in the desert and a low socio-economic, co-ed. I’ve accepted a position next year in a tiny little town in South Australia in the middle of the APY Lands. The APY Lands are a large Aboriginal local government area in remote North West South Australia. They are the lands of the Pitjantjatjara and Yakunytjatjara people – the Anangu. The map below gives some idea of where the APY Lands are.

This is going to be the blog of this experience.


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