By Lauren Stanhope, CSER Project Officer, Queensland
Behind every great teacher is a wonderful Teacher Aide! Over the years, as a teacher, I have worked with some amazing assistants in the classroom and around the school. They always amaze me with their dedication to the students that they work with, their creativity and their flexibility. I really have no idea how a school would operate without these wonderful people.
During my time as Queensland Project Officer with CSER, I have also worked with a number of dedicated aides who are keen to delve into the Digital Technologies Curriculum. Upskilling Teacher Aides has been an important way of implementing Digital Technologies curriculum in small schools, but also in remote schools that sometimes experience higher teacher turnover. The Teacher Aides on Thursday Island have been some of the most engaged, dedicated and happy people I have worked with over the past two years when presenting CSER Professional Learning.
During Term 2, I travelled to the most northerly point of Australia, hopped on a passenger ferry and found myself on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait Islands. Tagai State College is a Queensland State School that provides education from Pre-Prep through to TAFE, across 18 community-based campuses. The school covers 48,000 square kilometers and has campuses on 15 different islands. It really is a unique school to visit.
I had travelled there to present at the school’s Teacher Aide conference. The school had organised for all their wonderful Teacher Aides to travel from the different campuses to Thursday Island, or TI as the locals call it, to develop their skills further. During the two day event they attended a number of workshops on a variety of topics. I was lucky enough to introduce them to Computational Thinking, as well as the ever-popular Bee-Bots! We explored this thinking through a variety of hands-on activities. It was great for the Teacher Aids to be engaged in Computational Thinking and experience the types of lessons they might see in the classroom as part of the Digital Technologies curriculum. I am sure they all went back to their respective islands with lots of ideas and fun ways to engage students in this new curriculum area.
I also visited a number of classrooms while I was there, both on Thursday Island and Horn Island. I was able to support teachers, in the classroom, with the implementation of the Digital Technologies Curriculum. We were able to explore the CSER Lending Library kits and had fun teaching many of the Torres Strait Islander students about Makey Makey, Ozobots and Beebots.
I am really looking forward to hearing about how Tagai College continues to implement Digital Technologies across their school.
Lauren’s visit was featured in a recent Tagai State College newsletter and we’ve included some snippets below:
Lauren has a series of workshops scheduled throughout Semester 2 across Queensland. Find out more at her Eventbrite page. You can also contact Lauren to discuss tailoring a workshop to suit the needs of your school.