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Podcast: Teachers helping teachers

Written by Ben Newsome on November 17th, 2017.      0 comments

Cherine Spirou on the FizzicsEd podcast
Helping hundreds of teachers across NSW!

Cherine Spirou and the team at the Lachlan Macquarie College works with hundreds of science teachers across NSW. Working in partnership with the Western Sydney University School of Science and Health, the team puts together a variety of student science events and PLN conferences & meetups, all aimed at accelerating our high schools understanding of their world.

“You have to start getting yourself together a network. It does not work if you don’t have a network of teachers and it’s one of the hardest things that you can actually get. A network of teachers is something you need to have to be successful.”

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After chatting with Cherine Spirou, we also look at how to what are the elements of fantastic science presentation plus we revisit a grab from a past episode in which Danielle Leggo from Sydney Olympic Park Authority where she discusses the value of students learning ecological sampling early in their schooling, with a view to setting them up for success later in high school.

Top 3 learnings

  1. Create a network. Surround yourself with people who have the same growth mindset as you! Your Professional Learning Network will be small to begin with, but it will grow.
  2. Try integrating STEM into the timetable. It is quite an undertaking to mesh a genuine STEM-specific subject into a standard timetable, however, the rewards could be huge. Just ensure to work teacher across the faculties to ensure that all curriculum outcomes are being met. This could be a genuine chance or a maker space!
  3. Use failure as a teaching tool. Many guests have talked about this and without a doubt will do so again in the future! It’s when we’re vulnerable and reflective that we open up for new understanding.

About Cherine Spirou

Cherine Spirou

Cherine is currently Head Teacher Science at Fairvale High School in Sydney and coordinator of Lachlan Macquarie College which is a virtual college specialising in promoting science and mathematics to students through enrichment programs and provides professional development of teachers. Her passion for science and education in general is one that she is proud of, as she believes that every student has a right to learn in a fun and safe environment. Currently, she works with 13 staff and has the largest faculty in the school with 23 senior science classes in Years 11 and 12. Cherine also coordinates STEM at Fairvale HS and has integrated STEM into the school timetable as a subject for Year 7 Gifted and Talented students as a trial in 2017 and expanding into 2018.

Contact details for Cherine Spirou

About the Lachlan Macquarie College

Lachlan Macquarie College is a center of excellence in Science and Mathematics developing programs for secondary students to enhance their passion and knowledge in the two subjects. It also provides professional development for Science and Mathematics teachers across NSW to assist in the implementation of teaching and learning programs and focusing on improving student learning outcomes.

About the FizzicsEd Podcast

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It's not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it's about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

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If something grabbed your attention in this STEM podcast please leave your thoughts below.

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Happy teaching,


Ben Newsome
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