Co-author of numerous English texts
How long have you been in the education industry?
I have worked in education for almost forty years. After teaching secondary English for ten years, I moved into the book publishing industry where my main roles were as a textbook editor and English publisher. I now co-author English skills workbooks.
How have you noticed your teaching style change over the years? Why do you think this is?
My teaching style was always student centred, and I still focus on making sure that the resources I work on are accessible to every student in the class. As a publisher, I monitored English curriculum developments in all states and at the national level for many years. This enriched and influenced my thinking about teaching and the kind of learning resources that might be needed.
What is the importance to you of good educational resources?
Good resources for English should be flexible enough to support a teacher’s own program, rather than being prescriptive. It is important to provide high-interest material, useful strategies for building key skills and practical activities that work in the classroom.
What has been your favourite part of writing an education resource?
I enjoy searching for written and visual texts that are not only great examples of literary or persuasive techniques, but also stimulate class discussion about issues and ideas.
What is your favourite part of being a teacher?
It’s hard to beat the feeling of satisfaction after a successful lesson.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching (or writing)?
I love travelling. My favourite destinations are Asia and the Australian outback, particularly the Kimberley.
Who are three people, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with?
John Lennon for his visionary music, Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian work and Kitty Flanagan for her sense of humour.
What is your favourite book and why?
It is difficult to choose a favourite, but the book that has stayed with me longer than any other is 'Nineteen Eighty-four' by George Orwell. So much of it still applies today, particularly the way language can be used to manipulate people and distort the truth.