Our News
1 April 2017

Meet Fiona

"Testing Teachers is about a spectacular set of people… the students of Australia’s schools."

“If I could only tell my students one thing, it would be: you are so much more capable than you think you are – as learners and as individuals.”

NAME: FIONA
AGE: 32
BORN: CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND
STUDIED: MASTER OF MATHEMATICS AND MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY: THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
SCHOOL: TENNANT CREEK HIGH SCHOOL, NORTHERN TERRITORY

When she was growing up, Fiona attended seven different primary schools in England.

She went to a public high school and studied mathematics at Oxford, later gaining a Master of Science majoring in hydrology and water resources management from Imperial College London. Before applying to Teach For Australia, she was a PhD student, researching climate science at The University of Western Australia.

Fiona was inspired to become a Teach For Australia Associate because she “wanted to step up and do something about inequity in this country, particularly in regards to Indigenous people”.

“Tennant Creek High School is a fantastic place to work. The students are amazing and many of them overcome huge hurdles to come to school each day.”

As a maths and science teacher, Fiona loves being able to open her students’ eyes to the beauty of maths and its relevance in the world around them.

“Many of my students have very low numeracy skills and so I am seeking to work with them on improving these skills while also allowing them to explore the world of mathematics independently of their ability to add or multiply.”

One of the greatest challenges facing her own students at Tennant Creek High School is simply coming to school.

“For many of my students, school is irrelevant to their day-to-day lives. They have family commitments and often more basic needs such as food and shelter.”

Fiona acknowledges the support of her old teacher, Mr Dawes, and would like to thank him “for sparking a genuine love in maths, and showing me how teaching is an act of social activism”.

To those who are considering a career in teaching, Fiona says to go for it.

“Do it. But only do it if you want to do it for your students.”

For Fiona, the best experience of participating in Testing Teachers was “knowing that the country will get to meet the students of Tennant Creek High School”.

She hopes that Australia will gain “a recognition of what many students are having to overcome in order to get access to the same career pathways and lifestyles of the ‘average’ Australian”.

Testing Teachers is “about a spectacular set of people… the students of Australia’s schools”.