Written by: Ashley Van Krieken
Working with one of our Partner Schools, Mooroolbark Secondary College and Deakin University we welcomed 8 Pre-service teachers to Yarra Ranges Tech School in the week beginning 17 August. In their first week they were introduced to the Tech School, its programs and participated in a Design Thinking program. In coming weeks they will observe YRTS facilitators ahead of delivering YRTS programs to Mooroolbark students. They will also work as a team on designing an outline for a PST program for YRTS to roll out over 2021.
As a Director I am excited that we are able to offer this opportunity for emerging teachers and very excited at the fact that the disciplines in this group cover Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Humanities, Arts and Social Science. The importance of cross curriculum cooperation is a key part of YRTS programs and our underlying Human Centred Design Thinking process.
Pictured below from top left to bottom right we have Michaela Piritidis, Alannah Frampton, Danielle Robertson, Inneke Smit, Naomi Rankine, and Nick Zhang. Absent from the photos we also have Jacob Hayles and Catherine Hallyburton.
Naomi Rankine, one of our pre-serve teachers, has given us her comments on how she’s found the experience with YRTS.
My time as a pre-service teacher has been far from what I imagined. I am in my final trimester of Uni and all of my teaching placements this year have been online due to Covid-19. I would never have expected this to be the case, as I’m sure everyone feels with the way this year has played out. Therefore, having the opportunity to be remotely involved with YRTS whilst on my final placement with Mooroolbark College has been great to get some extra experience. Not only am I gaining experience from Mooroolbark College, but also from YRTS in areas that I never would have had experience in, had we not been provided this opportunity. We’ve been given the chance to co-facilitate some of our own lessons with YRTS to the Mooroolbark College students, as well as learnt many new digital programs and software that I did not even know existed. These will now be implemented into my own classes. We’ve also had a lot of professional learning opportunities, including learning about human-centred design thinking, which again I had never heard of prior to this and have found it incredibly useful and will also be incorporating this into my future teaching.
Inneke Smit has also given her comments on her experience as a pre-service teacher at YRTS.
I am a pre-service teacher with over 15 years-experience working in the film and television industry, as a production designer, art director and props master. I am new to the education landscape, however, working alongside and observing the YRTS team create online learning experiences for local secondary students, has demonstrated the agility required to be a Tech School during COVID-19 and the current remote learning environment. YRTS and their vision has the potential to inspire students to consider how technology and innovation can involve creativity and design thinking to problem-solve (which is a 21st century life skill). As educators it is important to link technology, science, design, and innovation to inspire students to achieve their potential and be leaders and visionaries for the future. The YRTS programs could be a steppingstone into new pathways for students.
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