Teaching was not on my radar for a long time. I loved school, I loved my teachers and I love learning, but the thought of going back into a classroom held absolutely no pull on my path in life. That is, until I became a manager in my job as a Geologist. I discovered that all leaders are actually teachers and that actually I loved doing it. So I enrolled in a Masters of Teaching and the rest is history.

I am passionate about making STEM interesting and engaging and, having grown up in a low socio-economic area, I am also passionate about developing resilience and confidence in kids who have had a tough start to life. Their experiences and ability to hustle are a real super-power and they have many many contributions to make to the communities they live in (once they have a full appreciation for the wonderful person they innately are, of course).

Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary)

2020 – 2023

The Deakin University Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary) is a two year degree (16 credit points) with 80 days of supervised professional experience, 35 days in a primary school and 45 days in a secondary school.

In my first year I studied primary numeracy and literacy as well as health, wellbeing and new pedagogies. In my second year I am focussing more on science, technology, arts, humanities and sustainability education in both Primary and Secondary settings.

April 2021
25 days
Year 1/2 Class
STEM (Materials and Earths Resources)
Literacy (summarising and inferring, developing early readers)
Numeracy (skip counting, arrays, shape, worded problems)
October/November 2020
25 days
Year 3/4 Class
Numeracy sequence (2D and 3D Shapes, Symmetry and Spatial Reasoning)
Literacy sequence (Persuasive Writing/The Lorax)
Art sequence (Perspective, Spirals, Rangoli Patterns)
Book week, science fair, art fair, grandparents day, colour fun run, outdoor learning day and PATS (reading and numeracy) testing.
August 2020
10 days
Year 5/6 Class
STEM (tiny hones, resources industry)

Placement One (10 days)

Dates: 20/7/20-31/7/20
Year level: 5/6
Class size: 23 students
Location: Foothills of the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
School sector: R-7, Government.
School profile: 141 Students (4% Indigenous, 5% LOTE), 18 teaching staff.
ICSEA value: 1019 (just above average).

Summary: One of the clear highlights of the placement for me was the ‘community’ feel of a small school and the bushland setting, at the foot of a significant reserve of the Adelaide Hills called Anstey Hill. There was also a ‘nature play area’ which the younger students especially took advantage of. It was fun to see them playing in the mud, having stick fights, climbing trees and creating ‘shelters’ at recess and lunch.

Placement Two (25 days)

Dates: 12/10/2020 – 13/11/2020
Year Level: 3/4
Class size: 23 students
Location: Foothills of the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
School sector: R-7, Government.
School profile: 141 Students (4% Indigenous, 5% LOTE), 18 teaching staff.
ICSEA value: 1019 (just above average).

Summary: I was extremely fortunate in this placement to have many opportunities to plan and deliver lesson sequences in literacy (Persuasive Texts), Numeracy (Geometry) and Art to a bright and vibrant group of Year 3/4s. Under the guidance of two mentor teachers I was able to observe lessons and receive feedback on my own in order to improve my teaching practice over my time there. I came to realise that my strengths in teaching are my curiosity in learning about students and my ability to engage students with enthusiasm. I am still developing skills in effective classroom management, balancing creating a learning environment which is both engaging and challenging whilst also maintaining order and catering to all students.

Placement Three (20 days)

Dates: 19/4/2021 – 14/5/2021
Year Level: 1/2
Class size: 47 students (two teachers)
Location: Inner-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne
School sector: R-7, Government.
School profile: 295 (157 boys, 138 girls).
ICSEA value: 1144 (95th percentile – wealthy demographic)

Summary: This was my first opportunity to work in an inner-city school within a wealthy, highly educated demographic. The lovely class I got to work with was mixed-ability, with reading and writing abilities in the class spanning a broad spectrum from almost non-readers to accomplished readers. This placement taught me about movement breaks (amazing things!), the importance of giving good feedback to individual students, shorter and clearer explicit teaching (floor time) and how multiple exposures work in practice to increase the engagement of students with a new concept. I taught a unit in inquiry on Matter and Earth’s Resources, using a constructivist (5e’s) approach, where I was able to really bring my experience as a Geologist into the classroom bringing in my own ‘cabinet of curiosities’ as a tactile and fun lesson.

Other educational experiences

Bursary to Year 11 Science Students

December 2019

As treasurer on the committee of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists Lauren was able to organise a $3000.00 bursary to the Rotary Club of Bendigo-Strathdale for students from Bendigo Senior Secondary College to attend the National Youth Science Forum. Having attended this two week science camp herself in Year 11, she was excited to be able to give back to an experience that changed significantly the trajectory of her life.

Seasonal Geoscience Presenter

October 2019

I assisted in running a field trip to Flat Rocks Dinosaur Fossil Site at Inverloch for Bunurong Coast Education with a large group of Year 8’s and 9’s. At the site I was able to demonstrate in the cliff face faults, sedimentary geology, igneous dykes, fossilised wood and evidence of dinosaurs.

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