My new blog

So I finally have my own website!

melcashen.com

I know – not very inventive but it is mine.

For the last few years I have used a free word press blog, and although they were simple enough to allow me to do my own, I am enjoying having the freedom to do what I like with it. Even if it did take me three days to choose a theme!

I will be leaving my old blog where it is for the time being, but if you have it in your RSS, on your blog or subscribe I would appreciate if you changed your link.

Thanks.

And so begins a new journey….

It has been a while since my last post and in that time a lot has changed. After 12 years in the primary classroom I have decided on a change from teaching and have started a job at Monash University as an Educational Designer. And so begins a new journey.

Image: ‘reads by the sea‘ Found on flickrcc.net

In my role I work with the Virtual Learning Environment, the project responsible for implementing a set of new learning technologies across the university, the first being Moodle.  There are many aspects to my role but I essentially work with academics supporting them in using learning technologies in learning, share good practice across the university and provide training in learning technologies.

For the past 12 years primary teaching has completely consumed me, especially in the last few years as I grew more and more passionate about empowering students, engaging them with ICT and dreaming of education reform. So why leave I hear you ask. Well there are a few reasons I guess.

  • In the last few months I have come to see myself more as an educator than a primary teacher so working in the tertiary sector will allow me to build a new skill set
  • I want to build change management skills and work collaboratively to bring about change. Unfortunately the lack of career structure in education means I was unable to get these opportunities in primary schools
  • I was tired.  Tired of the ever increasing work load and tired of hitting my head against the same brick wall with the lack of direction of education in Victoria.

Although I will be working in the higher sector of education I will still keep my hands in the honey pot of primary and secondary education.  I plan to continue to attend Teach Meets, conferences, PD and to stay connected with my amazing networks on and offline.  And I plan to talk more about reform in Education, hopefully making some impact on the changes that need to take place. Now I will just add the #highered hashtag to some of my tweets!

But for now to focus on my new role…..

It has been very excited starting a new job and I have enjoyed reflecting on me as a learner.  Don’t get me wrong, I am constantly learning, but it is rare that I am put in a position where I the learning curve is so large.  An environment where I had to use my prior knowledge and make connections with my new knowledge. A place where I was in a state of cognitive dissonance and my head was working in overtime to sort through my new information. It was quite eye opening to reflect on the skills I used to ensure I could ‘survive.’

It was quite invigorating! And in fact it continues to excite me everyday.

So what is it that excites me so much about my new role?

  • I love that I am trusted as a professional to do my job and respected in the knowledge and skills I bring to the position. I am asked what I think and how I can contribute.
  • I love that collaboration is preferred and it is expected that everyone will work together. And that because of this everyone works together so well.
  • I love that the vision is clear and everyone is working towards it.
  • I love that the people in my team use technologies like google docs and calendars to be more efficient and organised
  • I love that wellbeing is important and that you have time to get to know the people you work with over lunch because you actually get lunch!

And now I have a whole heap of new learning to share so hopefully the blog posts with be more frequent.