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Cristy Herron

How long have you been in the education industry?

I started teaching swim lessons when I was 15, which is when I knew I wanted to spend my life sharing my skills and inspiring people to engage in learning. But more specifically, I've been a Science educator for the past 14 years.

How have you noticed your teaching style change over the years? Why do you think this is?

When I first started teaching, I was far more focused on rote content details. As I've learned more about my students and what gives them confidence outside the classroom, my focus has shifted more toward skills and developmental learning. Content is of course very important, but the proportion of time I spend on skills in the classroom has increased over time. This has improved student engagement and thereby improved students' abilities to grasp the skills, as well as content. The same skills are used year after year, from one subject to the next, while specific content is often isolated in a particular year level and subject.

What is the importance to you of good educational resources?

I believe the best resource is experience, but for this resource to be maximised, tangible resources are important for delivering high-quality teaching, driven by experience. Good educational resources provide structure, reminders, and consistency, which is invaluable when we (teachers) get bogged down by the insane busyness of an average day.
What has been your favourite part of writing an education resource?

I've really enjoyed seeing the curriculum from a broad perspective. Usually, I think about my own classroom, and the Science Faculty I belong to, in our specific context. But contributing to a text that I know will be used by a huge variety of teachers, students and contexts has given me the opportunity to expand the possibilities of how standard curriculums might be interpreted and implemented.

What is your favourite part of being a teacher?

Above all, engaging and learning with students on a daily basis. Young people are so refreshing to be around. A close second would be sharing teaching practices with colleagues. It's rewarding knowing that the work I do for my students can have an impact beyond my own classroom, and vice versa; I love observing and learning new strategies from my colleagues.

What are three things people wouldn’t know about you?

1) I was a gridiron cheerleader in grade 9, but chose Soccer from grade 10 onwards because Soccer season was moved to Autum which conflicted with Football season.
2) I went to high school with Benji and Joel Madden from the band Good Charlotte and have home videos of them playing Weezer on my dad's guitar.
3) I broke my left elbow snowboarding when I was 19, then broke my right elbow snowboarding when I was 21. Despite this, I am still an avid snowboarder and haven't broken anything in 20 years!

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching (or writing)?

Spending time with my husband, Nick, and our two beautiful children, Xavier and Emilia, and of course our furbaby, Raven. Also, all outdoor pursuits, especially rock climbing.

Who are three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with?

Janis Joplin, Bernie Sanders, Marie Curie.

What is your favourite book and why?

'A Short History of Nearly Everything', by Bill Bryson because that's exactly what it is. So interesting.

Do you follow a sports team?

Not really. I've always been a AFL Richmond fan because a friend of mine played for them in the 2000s. But other than just enjoying AFL in general, I'm not too particular.