What do you consider is most important for the wellbeing of teachers?
I think having the respect and support of the team around you. Highly effective academics invest a great deal in their teaching and that includes developing close and supportive relationships with their students. Having a team that can provide advice, cheer your successes and provide support through challenges is essential.
COVID has impacted higher education in a major way. What, in your view, are the most important skills teachers should be looking to develop?
Students need supportive relationships with their teachers more than ever during such a stressful time. Finding ways to make and maintain those relationships in new ways, and identify and provide support to those who need it are more critical than ever.
What have been your greatest achievements, both professionally and personally?
Personally I’d say when I failed the equivalent of my HSC in the UK and had to work out what to do next. I decided to go back and try again, I passed thankfully, but it was a hard slog. It taught me that it is persistence that pays off in the end. Recently, I’d say the thing I’m proudest of is the launch of the College ALLY Network which has had a fabulous reception and really set off a chain of other activities that demonstrate in concrete action the underlying commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion that has always been evident here.
What does the Navitas purpose of transforming lives through education mean to you?
The graduates of the College have not only undergone a transmigration of their own but also have the knowledge and skills to transform the lives of others for the better.
Which of the Navitas values resonates with you most and why?
I think genuineness. Being genuine sets the scene for our other values, in particular in being rigorous and showing respect.
Who inspires you?
Bonnie Stachowiak. She runs a pod cast called Teaching in Higher Ed and has such passion for teaching. I love her curious and humble approach, always willing to be challenged in order to better serve her students. I have learned so much from listening to the podcast and she has really inspired me to think critically about how I approach my teaching practice as well as design courses and units with an eye for enhancing the lives of our students.