Teacher Profile: Susan Skinner

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Year(s) and Subject(s) Taught
Middle School Science, Year 6 Team Leader and Sustainability Coordinator.

How long have you been teaching?
More than twenty years in Science education.

What do you do in your free time?
We have five-year old twins. So much of my time revolves around their sports, swimming and friends. Teaching in Malaysia allows us to explore SE Asia on our weekends and holidays. I look forward to doing more eco-trips as our kids get older, contributing positively while we are on holidays. I recently started running and my goal is to do more fun runs for good causes and some hash runs this year.

Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
I love Science and wanted to make a positive contribution to the world! Teaching allowed me to pursue my passion, share my interests, and hopefully inspire students to continue in their own Science careers – or at least have a good foundation in Science. I hope that I am making a positive contribution!

Tell us about your own education journey.
I loved my science degree at the Australian National University; wonderful scientists teaching and exciting us about their research. I graduated and worked in plant genetics at the CSIRO (Australia’s national research agency), loving that everyday I was doing experiments and making observations that no-one had ever done before. Next I studied science communication and then my teaching degree. Along the way I worked at two of Australia’s wonderful interactive science centres, Questacon (Canberra) and The Investigator (Adelaide). I was the presenter of a children’s television series called Hot Science, and I was the manager of educational IT in the School of Medicine at Flinders University. I have had many wonderful learning experiences which I bring to my own teaching.

What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
It’s difficult to pick one moment. I love getting to know students on school camps, watching them grow and develop, seeing them take on new challenges and realise they can succeed. I am always so impressed with the creative minds of our Year 6 students when they plan and present their own science investigations for their Science Expo. On a personal level, I have had the chance to meet extraordinary people such as Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall.

What do you like most about teaching?
I enjoy the variety of work and the collaboration with students, parents and teachers. I love when students make connections, the ‘aha’ moments, and when they are engaged and love learning. I love the holidays, which are such a relief at the end of each busy term.

What is the best thing about teaching at your school?
Our curriculum is inclusive and embraces learners of all abilities. Our students are inspiring young people, and we have a close and positive school community. There are many ways that students, parents and teachers become involved, try new things, support each other and grow together.

Who or what inspires you?
Hope inspires me. Hope that our students graduate with the skills and attitudes to be positive healthy adults and to make wonderful contributions to the world.

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