Co-author of the Good Science series
How long have you been in the education industry?
I’ve been teaching for nearly 8 years.
How have you noticed your teaching style change over the years? Why do you think this is?
I think most teachers start off very nervous, and I was certainly no exception. I was very preoccupied with anticipating every question and knowing the content inside and out so that I didn’t look silly in front of the students. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve really learned to focus more on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’ of teaching. I’ve realised that it’s fine to take risks, to try new things, and to challenge your students to find answers you don’t know.
What is the importance to you of good educational resources?
Teachers are obviously very busy people, and so good educational resources should support them and allow them to do what they do best – teach! Good resources should be able to be used as a scaffold that gives some backbone to a lesson, but also that allows the teacher to teach in his or her own unique style.
What has been your favourite part of writing an education resource?
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to co-author with my amazing wife, Emma. My favourite part has been getting to work with her, bouncing ideas off each other and just learning from her.
What is your favourite part of being a teacher?
Definitely finding students that share my super-nerdy love of science. Having students in a class that want to learn things outside the scope of the curriculum just for the sake of learning it really makes my day.
What are three things people wouldn’t know about you?
My favourite genre of music is punk, my first ever teaching job was in Saigon, and I can never seem to spell the word ‘independent’ correctly on the first go.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching (or writing)?
I play video games, I regularly play tennis and basketball (albeit, not very well!), I’m a big fan of chess, cryptic crosswords, and I love to read.
Who are three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with?
It’s an obvious one, but Albert Einstein. He’s the most famous scientist in history for a reason, and by all accounts he was very funny and personable as well. Nikola Tesla, as he has probably the most unique sounding mind I’ve heard of. Finally, David Lynch, because if I’m going to be confused speaking to the other two, I may as well go for complete bafflement with the third.
What is your favourite book and why?
''Catch-22'. I love Joseph Heller’s way of looking at war, at the ridiculous contradictions and the absurdity of the whole concept. I love the characters that show the type of person you have to be to thrive in that sort of situation. It’s hilarious and dark, sharp and confounding.
Do you follow a sports team? Which one?
I’m a huge football fan, and attend every Melbourne Victory match I can get to.